By Lynn Stetler
Your local approved a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) at its June 1 membership meeting after a tentative agreement was reached for a new staffing strategy. Historically, we have approved other MOUs on the library merger and health care changes by a voice vote at a membership meeting. This new strategy called for changes in working conditions and pay for library employees so we needed to return to the bargaining table and renegotiate. We held 3 sessions with the Employer in March, April and May. We reached a final agreement on May 5 after a scheduled 2 hour session stretched to almost 6 hours. The bargaining team included Library Management, Human Resources and Labor Relations. Our team included leadership from Local 2864 (Professional Unit): Cathy Brennan, Mary Steinbicker and Lisa Kjellander and Dirk Schot, Ali Fuhrman and me from Local 2822 as well as AFSCME Field Representatives Alison Kelly and Michael LaCoste. We bargained hard and got some big wins including no probation for line staff moving into new job classes and elimination of a new job class, Aide that would be paid $8.00/hr. and not be represented by AFSCME. We also saw an increase in wages. Library workers have historically been the lowest paid workers in the County. These changes will go into effect on June 26. Much work was done away from the bargaining table as well including petitions and attending both Library Board and County Board meetings to get our message out. Regular updates were sent to library workers. For those interested in more detail , you can find all the updates on the 2822 website. My thanks to everyone who worked so hard at the table and away especially new Vice President Ali Fuhrman. This was her first time at the bargaining and she worked tirelessly asking tough questions and demanding more. There is much work to do as we move forward with a new staffing model and we will continue to have monthly meet and confers with library management.
There is a lot going on in other departments around the County with 2822 workers. Learn more about it in our July newsletter coming soon and attend our next membership meeting on July 6 at the Golden Valley Library starting at 6:30pm.
The County works because we do and we do good work.
Your President, Lynn Stetler