All of your Negotiation Teams are working like mad to put together something that gets us back to getting paid what we are worth. We are trying to reconcile the difference between the 3.3 Million dollars in lost wages and the City’s paltry offer to return 1.7 Million.
Want to see first hand how we did? Join us at 1:00 pm in Room 215 at City Hall.
> Union Representatives,
> We have received notification from the Florida Division of Retirement that they will be issuing election ballots to impacted employees of Municipalities providing non-FRS pension benefits. Specifically, employees impacted by the Consolidated Regional E-911 Communications System will be provided a one-time irrevocable option to remain in their Municipality’s pension plan or to elect participation in the Florida Retirement System. These ballots are time sensitive and must be returned by the deadline provided. No ballots will be provided or are needed for employees of Municipalities providing pension benefits solely with the FRS system or of Municipalities offering no pension program. If employees have any questions, please have them contact the pension plan administrator in your Municipality.
We have put the questions to our pension coordinator already so don’t call her just yet.
Again, thank you very much to those that took the time to join the negotiation meeting yesterday. The City Manager was going to join us, but apparently she had rehearsals to attend to ahead of the Budget Hearing.
We are still sifting through all the different bits of the latest proposals to see what is actually being offered and what is being taken away. The proposals have the removed or changed language in strike through so we have to carefully read everything so we don’t lose something by accident. The three proposals were posted yesterday if you want to see for yourself.
During the negotiation meeting the City changed up a few things verbally that sound good but need careful comparison against what we would give up in the process. The verbal proposal was to change the wage offer to 4% restoration staring October followed by a 3% COLA next October. That *does* sound good, but many other things in the proposal are going to make those amounts turn out not so great, things like increased health care costs, decreased health benefits, decreased pension benefits, and no merit increases.
And then the Budget Hearing….
This is page 37 of the City Manager’s presentation last night. This page specifically is interesting for two reasons: (more…)
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome as a Union is Communication. We have over 700 people scattered over 28 different office locations, shift workers covering all 24 hours on the clock, and field workers covering all 31 square miles of our City…. sharing information in a timely manner is, to put it mildly, a challenge.
We are rising to that challenge!
Your Executive Board and your Communication Committee are using every channel of communication available to make sure that you, the members of Local 2432, have access to the most up to date information when you need it, where, and how.
This website was the first step. The current display is ‘adaptive’ and should be readable on both your desktop or your mobile device. Up to the top is the navigation menu, down to the bottom are the options and settings and fiddly-bits.
Email Notices and Email Newsletters was the next step. Approximately once a month you should receive an email digest of the news articles from this website, if you signed up that is. Scroll down there to the bottom and put your email into the Join Our Newsletter box. Like we said, about once a month you will receive an email digest, and if something interesting or exciting is happening we’ll send a specific email notice with the required information. (more…)
And another update, or rumor control if you are hearing the whispering voices….. via email from Local President Chris Cassidy to the Mayor, City Commission, and City Manager:
I have been informed that you have expressed disappointment with the fact that I did not inform you, at our last monthly meeting, of AFSCME’s intent to file the ULP. Just to be clear, AFSCME has been holding off on filing the ULP in the hopes negotiations would go well thus making it unnecessary. When we last met I did not know what you were going to be proposing at negotiations. When my bargaining team met with yours last week, it became crystal clear that the City had no intention of rectifying the pay and benefit losses AFSCME bargaining unit members suffered as a result of the City’s declaration of financial urgency. Not only did your proposal fail to resolve the inequities our membership is currently experiencing, you actually proposed further cuts to our membership’s pay and benefits. It was that slap in the face, along with the numerous other attempts to take from our membership (such as ceasing longevity payments, contracting out AFSCME positions/work, the changing of full time positions to part time, the promoting of select individuals, etc…) as well as your refusal to sit down and partake in the negotiation process (AFSCME has been trying to meet with you for over seven months now and we still have not been provided any financials) that led AFSCME to file the ULP. (more…)
A bit of rumor control, or a bit of information if you haven’t been hearing the rumors….. the following email went from our Local President Mr. Cassidy via email to the Mayor, Commissioners, and City Manager today:
It has been brought to AFSCME’s attention that you have been advising City Commissioners that AFSCME is not and/or has not been seeking some form of pay restoration for our membership, prior to the implementation of successor agreements in our three units. I want to make it perfectly clear that nothing could be further from the truth. AFSCME has consistently been seeking restoration for our membership. We would be more than willing to enter into MOUs with the City to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, given the City’s ridiculous contract proposal at our last Supervisory Unit negotiation session, as well as the lack of proposals in the Professional and General Units, it appears that the City has no intention of working with AFSCME to attain restoration. Hopefully that mindset will change so we can get back to the business of attempting to obtain fair and equitable pay and benefit packages for the workers who make up the backbone of this City.