Saturday, November 14, 2009

AFSCME Members Share Responsibilty

In these hard economic times bargaining has been difficult for our Locals. This post is a positive approach to negotiations. Some counties would like to see our pay rates adjusted back to what they were in the 80's, include furlough days in their budgets, and contract out our jobs. In this article you will read where AFSCME members are once again leading the way to help maintain services for the community in which they work and live.

AFSCME Council 40: AFSCME members agree to pay cut to help Dane County maintain services 11/12/2009
Contact: Larry Rodenstein 608-836-4040

For the second time in less than six months, 1,500 Dane County employees represented by AFSCME have reached a negotiated agreement in an effort to help the county address a severe revenue shortfall due to the unprecedented national economic downturn. "This is the second time in recent months that AFSCME members in Dane County have stepped up and voluntarily agreed to pay reductions. These agreements are the product of respectful negotiation with both sides listening carefully to each other. We all want to help the county cope with these challenging times while preserving vital services that citizens expect and deserve," said Shannon Meier, president of AFSCME Council 40 Local 720.
In July of 2009, AFSCME members in Dane County agreed to reduce their pay by 5%, a negotiated agreement that saved the county $3.3 million. "The decision by AFSCME members to reach these agreements was painful. But in the end our members see this as the prudent and responsible path," Meier said. Council 40 Staff Representative Larry Rodenstein credits AFSCME members and County Executive Kathleen Falk with taking seriously a shared commitment to maintaining quality services. Such shared problem solving stands in sharp contrast to some other counties, he said.
"The pragmatic path of finding common ground and reaching negotiated settlements stands in sharp contrast to the autocratic political posturing of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker," Rodenstein said. "Walker's only instinct is to try to dictate terms and solve budget woes solely on the backs of front line workers. His open contempt for workers leads only to confrontation, not solutions. Dane County is fortunate to have leadership that puts getting results ahead of posturing," Rodenstein said.

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