On November 13th, 2017, the Presidents of Locals 2187 & 2186 published a “contract update” which was posted on the DC47 website and mailed to your home addresses. The first part contained information regarding negotiations.
To the credit of the Presidents of Locals 2186/2187, the first part provided accurate information to anyone who took the time to read it in its entirety. However, the second contained some misinformation aimed at poisoning labor negotiations and damaging labor solidarity.
For example, the update suggested five members of 2187/2186 as representatives on the pension subcommittee. President Wright accepted all five. TRUTH.
To make the subcommittee more inclusive based on relevant experience, skills, and abilities President Wright then added four more people, one of whom is a current member of 2187. TRUTH.
The update states that “2186/2187 members do not even make up a majority of the subcommittee.” FALSE. There are six current members of 2186/2187 and three additional members.
The update expresses concern that there have only been two contract meetings with the City and there was a negotiation meeting between the City and Local 810. TRUE. Local 810 is an affiliated local of DC47 and Pres. Wright was fulfilling his duty to assist Local 810 in achieving a contract. As we have seen in the past, the union can ask the City for a meeting, but the City must agree. They haven’t at that time.
The update implies that President Wright has retirees negotiating the “entire contract.” FALSE. President Wright as Chief Negotiator selected Carol Stukes the Pension Trustee for AFSCME DC 47 to Chair the Pension Sub-Committee. She was elected by the membership to serve on the Pension Board since 1994. She brings pension knowledge, relationships, and negotiation experience. Carol, Tom, and Dominic together bring more negotiating skills than the current leadership.
We could continue to further flesh out our argument, but we think you get the point. We believe that locals 2186/2187 are doing a positive thing by providing a contract update. However, they do their members a disservice by presenting an inaccurate picture. We hope they give full and accurate information to their members in the future.
Finally, considering the upcoming DC47 officer elections, is the 2187/2186 update a thinly disguised and wholly inappropriate campaign piece?
Dominic Venziale, President of Retiree Chapter, Former President of Local 810
Carol Stukes, Former member of Local 2187, Pension Trustee
Thomas Paine Cronin, Former President of DC47 and Local 2187, Vice President of Retiree Chapter