Here is the latest newsletter Bottom Line_Issue # 4 reporting on the May 22nd negotiations session. Please read!!
What happened at the May 22 session?
There were no TA’s reached during this session. Tentative Agreements, (known as TA’s), result when both sides agree to an article. It is “tentative” because none of these agreements are final until the contract is final.
Counterproposals and Proposals
Submitted by Team AFSCME:
Hours of Work and Overtime; Uniforms; Required Driver License; Probationary Period; Posting Job Vacancies; Wages (including the Medical Stipend); and Health and Dental Insurance Benefits. All of these will be bargained more in future sessions.
Submitted By Management:
Management submitted several proposals and counterproposals, but there was no movement on Wages and the Medical Stipend. Their current proposal remains a total of 8.5% increase in Wages over five years, and no Medical Stipend. This is a far cry from what was proposed by Team AFSCME, and we were bewildered by the lack of changes in these areas.
As an example, while Management has not proposed changing the amount the City’s contributes to your HSA/HRA, at the April 27 bargaining session they proposed to pay it in 1/12 increments over the course of each year instead of paying the full contribution up front in January. This could impact anyone who is hit with a major medical event early in the year. While all issues have importance, most of our local’s members have consistently expressed the keenest interest in Wages, the Medical Stipend, and Medical and Dental benefits. Because of this, Team AFSCME continues to resolutely fight for the full payment of the HSA/HRA contribution at the beginning of each year, as well as for the rest of the core wage and benefit issues.
What happens next?
More Negotiation Sessions: The future negotiation dates are June 14, July 18, and July 26. We encourage you attend some or all of these sessions.
How can you help?
Are You A Member of an Employee Engagement Team? If so, then you have a unique opportunity to speak directly to Management. Let them know that fair wages and benefits (including the Medical Stipend) are some of the core reasons that we choose to work at the City. Share your feelings of disappointment in Management’s proposals so far. City Manager Mark Shepard and Mayor Traber went out of their way during this month’s employee recognition event to say that the City cannot function without its wonderful employees. Explain that, while we appreciate the kind words, compensating AFSCME employees fairly would be an even better way to show the City’s appreciation.
Attend a Negotiation Session: Help Management remember that Team AFSCME is never alone at the table by spending some time at a negotiation session. These sessions are open for members to attend during your non-work time (breaks and outside of your regular work schedule), so come observe! We have heard through the grapevine that even Management is impressed by the level of engagement (our definition of engagement, not Management’s definition) that Union members have shown. Keep up the good attendance.
Join the Support Team: Sitting at the negotiation table is only part of the story. There’s a whole team of people who help distribute newsletters, update our local’s website and Facebook page, and organize events like the lunch, drop in for chocolate, and our upcoming family bowling party. Consider joining the folks who make this critical work happen. This doesn’t require a lot of time or attendance at a bunch of meetings…there’s plenty to do, and the tasks you do can be tailored to your skillset, interests and the time you’re willing to donate to the cause. Contact Ruth Rose Hennessey at firstname.lastname@example.org to become part of the support team.
A big shout out to the Library members who have provided a steady presence at the negotiation sessions. They have also helped keep Team AFSCME’s energy up with snacks and positive energy. It really has been much appreciated.
You can also contact a member of Team AFSCME directly:
- Carlos Lopez, Tim Bates, Adam Womack & Shilo Anway (alternates) (Public Works)
- Bonnie Brzozowski (Library)
- Luke Cotton (IT)
- Jon Pywell and Natalie Summerlin (Parks & Rec)