PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- By a vote of almost eight to one,
3992 to 513, the members of AFSCME District Council 33 today ratified the
tentative contract with the City of Philadelphia that was reached in the early
morning hours of Tuesday, July 26, 2000.
The contract ratification vote was by a mail ballot and the results were
counted and certified by the American Arbitration Association. The results
were released to the Union at 1:00 P.M. today.
Pete Matthews, the President of AFSCME District Council 33, said that he
was pleased at the results of the ratification vote and that the margin of
approval "shows that our membership knows this is a fair deal."
"We entered the recent negotiations with the objective of reaching a fair
contract settlement and that is what we were able to achieve," said Matthews.
"The fact that the tentative agreement was approved by such a wide margin
shows that our membership knows this is a fair deal. It is a fair deal for
the members of the union and for the citizens of Philadelphia as well."
Union members will receive a $1,500 bonus called for in the agreement
within 15 days, according to the terms of the agreement. In addition to the
bonus, the contract calls for wage increases of 3% in each of the last three
years of the agreement, as well as increases in contributions to the Union's
health fund, including a fifth year of free health care benefits for retirees.
District Council 33 also negotiated $100,000 in funding for the operation
of working committees on career paths for clerical workers and comparable
AFSCME District Council 33 members had threatened to strike at midnight on
Monday, July 25, 2000 if a contract settlement had not been close. The strike
was averted when the Union and the City continued a marathon bargaining
session into the early hours of Tuesday, July 25, reaching a tentative accord
at about 5:00 A.M.
Matthews noted that the Union would be working closely with the Street
Administration over the next four years to make sure that all of the terms of
the agreement are honored.
"A contract is a living document that must be enforced in order to be of
any value," said Matthews. "That is why, over the next four years, District
Council 33 and all of the Local Unions within the Council, will be working
very closely with the City to make sure that our members get everything they
have earned under the terms of the agreement. We also want to be sure that
the committees on career paths for clerical workers and comparable worth are
actual working committees because these issues are very important to our
Union's female members."
AFSCME District Council 33 represents 11,000 workers in the City's
Sanitation and Water Departments, as well as workers in the Revenue
Department, Crossing Guards, Correctional Officers, the Philadelphia Airport,
the Health Department, nursing homes and clerical workers.
SOURCE AFSCME District Council 33