We have sent out six E-Flashes to City employees.
This is a message from Local 100 Service Employees International Union, the representative of city workers.
Selected individuals and positions seem to continue to receive special treatment and pay increase recommendations, while New Orleans city workers continue to be ignored. Several dozen are rolling forward for big bucks.
As Councilman-at-Large Jim Singleton always told us that the city had to give raises to city workers before anyone else, and before he would talk about almost anything else. Yet we hear and read now that he is jumping to the head of the line for a huge increase with all the benefits, car, driver, and secretarial staff. He is supposed to be helping advise the Mayor on the budget, but what advice did Mr. Singleton give about this budget item? Was there a clear budgetary plan? Did other city workers get a raise, too?
We think not, and we have been getting a lot of calls and shouts about this issue.
Call the City Council and the Mayor or better yet send them an e-mail and tell them to stop approving pay plans for a few city workers until there is a plan for all city workers. Put an end to the gravy train, until everyone gets something on their plate.
The email contacts are below. If you'd like, you can cc: our New Orleans office with your messages at email@example.com.
Eddie Sapir, Councilman at-Large: Sapir@nocitycouncil.com
Oliver Thomas, Councilman at-Large: Thomas@nocitycouncil.com
Jay Batt, District A: Batt@nocitycouncil.com
Renee Gill-Pratt, District B: RGPratt@nocitycouncil.com
Jacquelyn Brechtel-Carson, District C: JBClarkson@nocitycouncil.com
Marlin Gusman, District D: Gusman@nocitycouncil.com
Cynthia Willard-Lewis, District E: CWLewis@nocitycouncil.com
Mayor Ray Nagin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently there has been a flurry of news about whether or not city workers are right to believe that the severe underpay of city civil servants is a serious matter that needs immediate attention.
First, the union has written Mayor Ray Nagin asking for a meeting to set up a process to begin addressing the issues of a pay increase for city workers. A copy of this letter is available on the Local 100 web site -- click here to read the letter.
We pointed out, for example, that the over $400,000 in increases for eight (8) management positions could have raised more than 200 city workers from minimum wage up to $6.15 per hour. We also pointed out that the money also could have raised more than 100 city workers of all kinds of job descriptions from $6.00 per hour up to the federal poverty level at $8.50 per hour.
Some of this was reported in the local paper (click here to read the article from our web site). The Mayor acknowledged that this was an issue but asked for patience, indicating that raises for city workers could take two or three years to get in place.
The Times-Picayune took offense that the union would even dare to raise the issue of fair wages for city workers and editorialized yesterday against the nerve of the union in trying to speed this process up, even attacking Chief Organizer Wade Rathke by name. Click here to read the editorial on Local 100's site.
The paper points out that the last raise for city workers was in 1999 which was 3 years ago. They now want to join with the Mayor and delay a raise for another 2 or 3 years, which could mean a that city workers would be toiling without a raise for 6 years! The Times-Picayune even hints in their editorial that they think it would be appropriate for there to be layoffs of city workers and they say this at a time when every department in the city is short staffed and overworked!
Part of our system of government is the push and pull of various forces around the priorities of the citizens. The paper wants the Mayor to have a free ride, so he can do his job. Well, our job is representing city workers, and we believe that the Mayor understands that, even if the newspaper does not, and we intend to do our job aggressively, and make sure that city workers get a raise much earlier than 2005!
Oh, please! Lets get serious about raises now, not in the sweet
by and by!
There will be a meeting for City of New Orleans Local 100 members today, Monday, February 24, 2002, at 6:00 p.m.at St. Augustine Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls Street. This is the corner of Gen. Nicholls and Ursulines.
This is a General Meeting to Discuss Progress on Collective Bargaining and Potentially to Ratify the Contract or Instruct Action on the Bargaining.
We are now very close to an agreement, particularly from the point where we began many years ago, as well as in the period since the employees voted for the Union in October. Click here to visit our web site to find out where we have tentative agreement with the City, what issues we have partial agreement on, and on what issues we will have to report progress as it happens.
Also, go our our web site (click here) to find out about our conversations with mayoral candidates and the City Coundil on pay raises.
Keep an eye open for more E-Flashes in the coming days and weeks as our negotiations heat up. Stay involved. Be aware of what's happening. Know what YOUR union is doing for YOU.
Our first negotiating session with the took place on Tuesday, December 18th. The bargaining team met on Monday, December 17th at 6pm.
At our first union meeting after the election, we introduced the bargaining team members, nominated by at least five of their co-workers, and we discussed the bargaining survey results, the budget fight and the action team.
The following have been nominated to the bargaining team (only one member from each dept. will be at the negotiating table):
Ronnie Bartholomew - Public Works
Action Team members have agreed to help build the union, attend meetings, participate in job actions and distribute information to co-workers. If you are interested in joining the action team, let us know.
The bargaining issues identified by the survey and from the meeting are as follows:
1. Evaluations based on supervisor opinion insead of work quality.
We also addressed the City Council during the budget hearings. A mojority of the council has agreed to work with us to identify a revenue stream to be dedicated soley to employee raises.
The first draft proposal of many to be written is completed. Check out our website, seiu100.org to view the initial proposal.
Keep an eye out. More e-flashes to come as bargaining heats up.
Become a member on-line. Visit our website and fill out a membership card.
Today is Union Election Day!
This is our chance for a union -- finally!
Voting machines are located in the basement of City Hall and are open today, Thursday, from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and then again tomorrow, Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon.
There are 15 voting machines, one for each department, with a few assigned to more than one. For a list of machines and departments, go to http://www.seiu100.org/neworleans/ElectionInfo.html.
Dont forget to vote!!!
We hope that the results are announced on Friday afternoon, so check the website then at www.seiu100org/neworleans for the department-by-department certification.
Also, dont forget to fill out the bargaining survey. As soon as the election is over, we will be preparing to enter collective bargaining negotiations, so get your input to us as soon as possible.
On the web site at www.seiu100.org/neworleans/bargsurv.htm you will find an on-line CONTRACT BARGAINING SURVEY. We want to start ranking the priorities as we prepare to pull together the proposals from the union to be presented to the City for a collective bargaining agreement. As soon as departments are certified as voting for the union, we will be electing a union bargaining committee with representatives from each department, and pulling together proposals. Please fill out the form on the web site and sendit back so that we can compile your priorities at the same time we are collecting other surveys from other workers.
Again, if you know of any city worker who might not be getting this through the city's e-mail system, please be sure to forward it to them. And if you've gotten a forwarded copy of this message, be sure to send a message to email@example.com and get your name and address on our list for future E-flashes.
In an effort to keep New Orleans city workers up to date on the work of their union, Local 100 Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, the Local 100 E-Flash! will be sent to you on a biweekly basis or whenever there is critical news that city workers need to know.
Second, hit firstname.lastname@example.org by replying to this e-mail and let us hear from you that you received this message and that this is the best address to send you more information on Local 100 campaigns, negotiations, and meetings. Acknowledging the e-mail with your full address and phone number(s), best e-mail address, and your job title, means, HEY!, your union will you an SEIU Local 100 official purple t-shirt so that you are dressed to the nines, wherever and whenever.
So, enough heres the flash!
City Workers Election Set
We need to keep this short and sweet, so that you can read this on the run at work so thats enough for the first 100 E-Flash. But, stay tuned for more flashes and alerts, and check the web site at www.seiu100.org/neworleans to keep informed on these fast moving developments and campaigns. Also, be sure to forward this message to any City workers you know who may not have City e-mail addresses.