Dear Brothers and Sisters of AFSCME Local 2432
I am writing to provide you an update as to the status of our Union’s contract negotiations with the City. In the Professional and Supervisory groups, our bargaining teams have met with the City’s management team only 3 times (real negotiations) over the course of the last two months. The latest negotiations session was held last Thursday, October 8th 2015. We were told prior to the meeting to be prepared to stay until we have an agreement, and were hopeful that we might make real progress toward a new agreement.
With that understanding, our bargaining teams presented all of our counter proposals, including a new proposal regarding our pension plan. In case you had not heard, the Police just negotiated a modified planned retirement with only a 0.5% employee contribution down from 8%, and changed the normal retirement date to 25 years of service regardless of age). We requested the same modified planned retirement with a 30 years of service normal retirement date provision, regardless of age. This was only the 4th item out of approximately 57 items that were on the table, but the meeting immediately turned negative from management’s side. We were berated and accused of playing games. We all took this as very condescending and disrespectful not only to our bargaining team, but to our membership as a whole.
Undeterred, we continued and completed our presentation of our Union’s counter proposals for both Professional and Supervisory groups. Management’s team requested an opportunity to caucus, and when they returned, they presented no counter proposals. They then abruptly ended our meeting.
Out of the approximately 57 items on the table, AFSCME was ready to agree to changes or keep the status quo for 37 of the items. We believe that was a showing of our Union’s good faith negotiations. The City unfortunately appeared to adopt a take it or leave it attitude. THIS IS NOT NEGOTIATIONS!
Although we were scheduled for contract negotations today and on Thursday for the General Bargaining group, yesterday, the City unilaterally cancelled those negotiations sessions. We have also heard that management is getting their raises. Hurray for Hollywood! Everyone has been addressed and taken care of, except us.
We are waiting for the City to schedule another meeting and to actually start to negotiate with us; we will keep you posted of any progress.
Christopher Cassidy, President AFSCME Local 2432
Professional Negotiating Team: Chris Cassidy, Larry Breighner, Bob Strauss, Troy Porter, and Barbara Armand
Supervisory Negotiating Team: Chris Cassidy, Barbara Armand, Bob Strauss, Troy Porter, and Larry Breighner
City Negotiating Team: George Keller, Raquel Elejabarrieta, and Kathy Lopez-Negron