A grueling and contentious 12-hour hearing for seven county unions ended tonight with an 8-3 vote in favor of returning the 5% to county employees.
The Mayor may veto the decision, which would trigger another vote to override his veto, as occured when the Commission approved the 5% for Solid Waste workers earlier this fall.
Commissioners Barreiro, Jordan, Monestime, Moss, Edmonson, Souto, Suarez and Sosa voted to return our 5%. Commissioners Bell, Heyman and Bovo voted against. Commissioners Diaz and Zapata were absent.
Pat yourselves on the back. We did it!
Roughly 100 members showed up at Commission Chambers to pack the hall along with an equal number from other unions.
Many members suffered through hours of testimony from each union, the Mayor, Jackson management and extensive debate by the Commission.
Mayor Gimenez opened with this salvo: “You may hear from the unions that there was a promise to end the 5% contribution. There was no such promise.”
Bishop Victor Curry and other members of the community came out to speak in support of county workers.
Near the end of the day, President Martha Baker, RN, laid out the roughly 16% in various concessions Local 1991 members have made after the bottom dropped out in 2010 and again in 2012 — a total of $186 million just for our bargaining units through 2014.
Members Latasha Tisdol, RN, Anne St. Paul, RN, and social worker Jeanette Garcia spoke eloquently about the sacrifices and hardships the concessions have had on them and their coworkers.
Our union clearly showed that the County and Jackson have several ways to comfortably end the pay cut in 2014 as promised.
In the end, the majority of the Commission voted to return the 5% to all county workers.