Contract Negotiation Update

Contract Negotiation Update

Brothers and Sisters:

The District Council 47 Local 2186 and Local 2187 subcommittees have been meeting with the City’s representatives. Upon completion of their work, the larger group will gather to discuss Locals 2186 and 2187 economic issues in the contract.
Local 810 does not have subcommittee meetings and is ready to negotiate right now.
I do not believe the City of Philadelphia is ready to sit down and negotiate all of our contract terms right now. I think that’s in part because they still have not reached a settlement with the firefighters.
In the past few days, issues related to our contract and those of the police and firefighters have been discussed in the local press. The position articulated by some City folks is, they need agreements with workers that will enable them to get the money needed to get closer to fully funding the pensions.
I continue to stress the importance of a fair contract, and I am committed to not just doing what the City has been proposing, i.e. a hybrid plan with a salary cap of $50,000. This was the deal reached with District Council 33. That does not work for us!
We want to bargain in good faith ASAP, and do not want you to have to wait five years, as you did in the past, for a new contract. As we have been doing, we continue with a contract extension for now.
We will continue to struggle with the City, and if we stand together we will win!

Your Brother,
Fred Wright,

Health and Welfare Fund Changes

Health and Welfare Fund Changes

Brothers and Sisters:

I want to share with you some new information about the Health & Welfare Fund. Recently, the Health & Welfare Committee voted to change the amount of funds allocated to pay management fees. These funds include those that go to District Council 47 for my salary. The committee voted to change the allocation from 25 percent to 10 percent,  saying that I did not spend enough of my time on Health & Welfare concerns. I presented information showing I spent the same amount of time as my predecessor, however, that did not dissuade the committee from taking that action.

I believe that this is the first time the Health & Welfare Committee has taken this specific action.

Just wanted you to know what’s going on in your union.

Fred Wright,

Labor Activist Training Classes Resume on Tuesday, September 19th

Labor Activist Training Classes Resume on Tuesday, September 19th

The Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO will again host a year-long series of labor education workshops designed to better equip labor activists and leaders to meet the challenges facing today’s labor movement. Now in its third year, the Philadelphia Labor Activist Training is co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and the Labor School at Penn State. All local unions affiliated with the Philadelphia Council are eligible to send members to participate, as well as invited community allies. 
The curriculum consists of four comprehensive, non-credit courses designed to develop critical thinking skills and to increase capacity for building power. Instructors include faculty from Penn State’s Labor School, labor leaders, and community experts. Using a multi-union setting, the courses encourage participation and networking with other activists. Each course includes ten hours of classroom time over fours weeks. Participants should commit to attending all four sessions of each course. Each 4-week course costs $60. Participants who complete all four courses will graduate with a Certificate in Labor Studies from Penn State. 
Space is limited to 30 students — online registration is open now for Course 1 — Unions for the 21st Century: What Every Activist Should Know.

Register online to insure your spot in this course. Questions? Call Nick at the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, 215-665-9800, or email Valerie Braman, Penn State University Labor Education Coordinator, at

Unions For the 21st Century: What Every Activist Should Know
Course Dates:
Tuesday September 19, Tuesday September 26, Tuesday October 3, Tuesday October 10
Course Time & Location:
All sessions run from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Philadelphia Council, AFL-CIO
Course Description:
Since being first organized over 200 years ago, U.S. unions have been a necessary and important part of our democratic society. To remain relevant, however, unions have to adapt to a changing world and a changing workplace. Union leaders and activists need to understand the changing workforce, the changing economy, the needs and concerns of young workers, and how to actively support the development of upcoming leaders. This course will focus on the challenges faced by today’s unions and on what union leaders and union activists need to know to effectively address these challenges.

◦ Week One (9/19): How We Got Here & Current Challenges
◦ Week Two (9/26): Common Sense Economics
◦ Week Three (10/5): Engaging Young Workers
◦ Week Four (10/10): Developing Union Leaders

Register now for Unions For the 21st Century: What Every Activist Should Know!

DC 47 and City Negotiation Update

DC 47 and City Negotiation Update

Sisters and Brothers:

I wish to update you concerning the negotiations between the City and DC 47 and clarify an issue, in response to questions that have been raised by other members.
First of all, we will be asking for a contract extension, since we still do not have a contract and negotiations are currently at a standstill. Right now, the Union is still waiting for responses from the City for information we requested.
In terms of the process, I want to clarify that the leadership of Locals 2186 and 2187 requested several subcommittees be established, to discuss specific areas of the contract. This includes – pensions, health and welfare, policy and personnel matters. The City and DC 47 (including representatives from each local) have representatives that will meet and discuss these concerns, in order to try and come to an agreement on these areas. These subcommittees meet, discuss, and reach an agreement before we go back to the bargaining table, to discuss and try to reach an agreement on the entire contract.
We have agreed to dates for these subcommittees to meet and look forward to this aspect of the negotiations to begin next month.

We Oppose Charlottesville Racist Acts

We Oppose Charlottesville Racist Acts

First of all, our prayers go out to those that were injured today in Charlottesville, Virginia and to the family of the person killed there.

The cowardly act  in Charlottesville that left one person dead and 19 injured is reprehensible and indicative of the worst in our society. White supremacist organizers of the planned noontime rally were the backdrop and the foundation for what happened there today.

While they claim concern for the removal of a confederate statue was the impetus for their rally, the right wing has a long history of divisive and racist acts that would attempt to take our nation in an apartheid-like direction. Catch phrases reported by local Charlottesville media from the Ku Klux Klan’s David Duke as ‘the first step toward taking America back’ are pretty clear statements  about removing 20th century gains made by people of color, gays, women and others in our nation.

The divisive rhetoric and policies of our current President and unreported experiences of many people of color, victimized by racist acts since the election, help give these thugs a sense that they can now openly organize and attack progressive forces.

Those of us that see the importance of unifying our nation, so that we will continue to be a beacon of hope and a light of liberty for the world, know that we have to speak out when we see injustice like this occurring. However, it is not enough to just raise our voices, we must continue to organize and show by example we embrace the idea of the ‘beloved community’ that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described, lead the movement to try and realize and for which he ultimately gave his life.

We know that the purveyors of white supremacy will not stop because one event was cancelled and we hear they have pledged to continue their struggle.

Brothers and Sisters in organized labor have long been in the fight against those that would try to roll back the clock in America, to a time when labor was exploited and rights were nonexistent.

We believe in a phase popularized in a song during the civil right movement, “we shall not be moved.”

And so our struggle for jobs, peace and freedom continues and we believe that love and unity are the keys to our success as a nation. We stand with those that stand for these values and pray that more will come to see this light.