Contract Committee Starts Negotiations

Miami-Dade AFSCME Local 199 had a great turn out for the Contract Committee meeting on May 29th. Administrator Andy Madtes gave an update on the tough fight we have over the next few months in contract negotiations, as well as an overview of where we stand politically and the direction of Local 199. Members of the committee came to the meeting impassioned, prepared with ideas and ready to work.

"It's time to put boots on ground and really work together around negotiating this contract. If we want to make a difference in our jobs and bring power back to Local 199 it has to be done by us, the workers," said Contract Committee member Thomas Paige.

Together the committee decided to present an initial proposal at the first negotiation meeting to put the County on notice that we aren't going to stand by and let them continue to balance the budget on the backs of our members.

June 2nd was the first day of contract negotiations. We received the same unacceptable proposal as the other bargaining units in the county, which includes a 10% base pay cut, fewer holidays, increased healthcare costs, additional workloads and weakening the role of the grievance process. The County's proposal continues to diminish and marginalize hard working county employees and we aren't going to stand for it any longer.

"Sitting across the table from the Mayor's negotiation team with my Local 199 brothers and sisters was empowering," said Judi Castro, Clerk of Courts representative for the first round of negotiations. "Not only were we prepared because of the contract committee meeting, but we also sent a strong message by reading our guiding principles aloud to the county's negotiations team."

In response to receiving the Mayor's budget, the Contract Committee submitted Guiding Principles for Contract Bargaining Agreements, telling the Mayor and his administration that making budgetary decisions based on political ideology and not economic analysis is unacceptable. AFSCME Local 199 is willing to negotiate with the county for a contract that betters the services for the tax paying citizens of Miami-Dade County and its workforce.

The Contract Committee has taken the first step in ensuring the AFSCME Local 199 bargaining unit gets the best possible contract by September 30th. To learn more about contract negotiations and stay updated on AFSCME Local 199, "like" our Facebook page.