Our Union Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table with the County on Wednesday in our first post-impasse mediation. We showed our willingness to find common ground and narrow the differences between us. We signed off on seven management proposals that we agreed to last month. These proposals include a modest improvement in the boot allowance and slightly stronger safety language.
We signaled through the mediator our willingness to consider a 3-year contract with real wage increases and benefit improvements that get better in the 2nd and 3rd year.
Additionally, we sent the signal that we are ready to make progress towards a fair contract that respects workers while also addressing legitimate concerns raised by management, but the County management did not reciprocate.
The County management continues to disrespect and dismiss workers concerns. They showed no sign of significant movement to restrict involuntary transfers, improve overtime pay, get paid the higher rate when we work out of title, or protect our right to representation under the grievance procedure.
We will return to mediation next wednesday and continue to press the County management to change their tune and find areas of common ground so we can narrow the issues that divide us. Bargaining is not a one-way street.
County workers will not agree to an unfair contract nor will we go away quietly.