Monday, November 10, 2008

The union's position

AFSCME defends itself in a press release dated July 18:

"The city first signed this deal back in March," added AFSCME Local 542 President Melvin Brabson. "Even though the contract involved replacing Union work with work performed by an outside entity, in violation of the Union contract, the city never, ever came to us to talk about it. I happened to find out about it and asked for the contract, and to meet with the city to discuss the issue. The city refused to meet with the Union, until City Council held the contract so that we could meet. Even then, the city refused to discuss how to resolve the issue, but told us they were moving forward, no matter what. The Union had no other option, but to go to court."

"The Union is always the last to know," continued Garrett. "The city knows that this type of contract violates our successor clause in the contract, but tried to sneak it through instead of meeting with us. If we allow our contract to be violated, we run serious risks of not fulfilling our legal obligations to our members. By ignoring us, the city left us no choice."

As to whether they're interfering with a volunteer effort:
"First, people are being paid under this Greening contract. There are several funded positions listed in the contract, which add up to more than $52 million over five years. Plus, there were employees previously laid off or otherwise removed from working in this nursery, doing what The Greening is proposing to do. The city wants its employees to take the loss of work, and being ignored, lying down. We will not do so."

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