Greetings Sisters and Brothers of Local 2186 & 2187:
There have been concerns raised about the progress of our contract negotiations. I assure you that I am willing to negotiate on your behalf for fair wages, a stable pension – not funded on the backs of the workers, healthcare, as well as other items in your contract. Members are facing challenges like never before. Members are working harder and longer for less and falling farther and farther behind.
The City is also willing to negotiate and had proposed dates for the month of October, 2017. We did not convene because the Local’s attorney was unavailable. We are now scheduled to reconvene on November 9, 2017.
To move negotiations forward, I encourage you to engage your leadership early and often. Your Local leadership is responsible for communicating to me your wishes concerning key negotiating points, such as pensions, wages, and healthcare. If no one has reached out to you, then reach out to them and allow for your voices to be heard. Local leaders should be surveying the membership, concerning key issues in our negotiations.
Needless to say, the City is beginning to make their public case for not having any wiggle room to give us raises. We will not be moved.
At a City Council hearing this week, City Finance Director Rob Dubow said he expects the City to face pension funding issues for a decade and that the administration has asked City Departments to cut their budgets by two percent in the current fiscal year. We are saying no to cutbacks. We are saying no to the privatization of our jobs through exempt hiring and or lack of hiring staff through attrition.
As your elected representative and chief negotiator, I implore you to be a participant in this process. You have the freedom to join a union and be part of the process. We can move this process along with greater clarity, when you make your opinions known to your Local’s leadership. Do they know your priorities? If they have not heard from you, call them right away.
The main mistake made by union leadership is people not being willing to talk to people that you strongly disagree with. Not just talk, but communicate. – Pete Seeger
United we bargain! Divided we beg!