Negotiations Update No. 5

 AFSCME 3937 and Management met Wednesday September 23 from 5:30pm to about 6:30pm.

There is no news on the across the board wage offer -- still stands at 0.25%.
They are trying to tell us that our steps, which in past were cost-neutral, now suddenly (in the last 4 years or so) cost 1.5%. That cost is built into our across-the-board increase!

We stand firm that the progression steps are cost-neutral.

They did not discuss much beyond that because "you filed for mediation" so we are done negotiating!!! We said "Not So! We keep negotiating until we get to the BMS." We would rather not use them. They said, "I'll call them; 45 day wait is unreasonable." But that is the way it has been for a number of years.

We did spend time talking about our proposal to add two steps to the top of the salary grids. Again we stand resolute on making this happen. Management really doesn't seem to understand any our reasons for adding steps (and subsequently dropping steps from the bottom but we could ignore that if we get steps at the top). They are trying to cost out how much it will cost to fix our itty bitty steps (less than 2% from the prior step) plus add two steps and maybe even drop two steps (on the grids that have people stuck at the top). This analysis seems to be mind-numbing and is taking an extreme amount of time. If anyone is interested in doing this analysis for us (3937), let me know and I can you the data to use.

Management did finally agree to meet on Monday October 19 at 5:30, probably in the Mayo building.

What we need is a HUGE turnout for the Rally for Raises and Respect on Tuesday September 29. The rally begins at 12 and goes to 1pm in front of Morrill Hall on Northrop Plaza.

Please join us and try to wear is most important for you to join us and bring your coworkers!

Mary Austin