Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(DC Labor)

Demonstrating real labor-management cooperation, the members of AFSCME 3870 and their management at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have negotiated a new contract two months ahead of the May expiration of the previous contract. "This was a great victory for both sides," said Local 3870 President Debra Arnold. "Both sides had a goal to get this done and get out the door." The local received some important victories, including a provision that gives the union president 100% official time, 2 days a week, for union-related work. In addition, management will cover 50% of gym fees for workers, going along with President Obama's call for health and wellness standards in the workplace. But what stands out the most, according to Arnold, is management's cooperation and willingness to negotiate. "When doing negotiations, people ask 'What did you lose?'," said Arnold. "But we didn't lose anything. I'm hoping our experience will encourage and uplift the other locals into knowing that management will work with you." - Paddy Lehane


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