Sisters and Brothers:
Just want to keep you informed about our negotiations and to address some of the concerns raised by some Brothers and Sisters about our negotiations.
Let me first tell you that we are waiting on the City to give us additional dates to meet, concerning the contracts for Locals 810, 2186 and 2187. Keep in mind that people are on vacation during the summer and sometimes are not as readily available to meet. Additionally, contact talks with Police and Firefighters, which are now in arbitration, have placed the City in a wait-and-see posture.
The issue of when I began talks with the City has been raised, implying that we could have moved forward sooner. I notified the City of Philadelphia about our intent to negotiate a new CBA in August, 2016. I received a first draft of Local 2186 & 2187’s contract proposals on March 24th. The final draft of the proposals were not ready until May 24th. We began negotiations with the City on June 2nd, and at that time I submitted dates of availability for the union in June.
The leadership of Local 2187 requested to have contract negotiations broken down in subcommittees to deal with issues such as health & safety, contracting out, IT, policy, personnel, pensions, as well as health and welfare. The Union submitted our list of subcommittee members and chairs to the City, and is awaiting the list of City representatives.
I am responsible for leading the negotiations between the City and District Council 47 Locals. There are some that may believe that they should be in charge of these negotiations and they have complained to AFSCME International about the way I am handling the negotiation process. Leaders must lead, and since I have been elected into this position, I believe that I must do that and I have done it, while seeking input from the leadership of the Locals. As I have mentioned many times, we must remain united in this effort to get a contract for Brothers and Sisters in City Locals. Continued infighting only shifts our focus from getting that job done.
I hope that you will support me in keeping up a united front in these contract talks. While some would like to see me removed from my position as your chief negotiator, I believe it would send the wrong message and undermine what we are trying to do.
In the meantime, I continue to seek input from the Locals, so that we can respond to proposals by the City, as well as be prepared to continue to fight for the best contract we can get from them. If we unite in this struggle, we will get a fair and equitable contract. Stay connected and/or contact me through dc47union.org for up-to-date information.