AFSCME reaches agreement, gets new contract


Luke Taylor | The Daily Eastern News

University president David Glassman leaves the University Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union for a lunch break before the Board of Trustees meeting on June 25. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 981. AFSCME members have been negotiating and protesting for higher wages and other changes to their contract for over a year. The union members displayed signs with the yearly income of various board members as well as average yearly income for clerical, technical and service workers.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 981, the union representing Eastern’s building service workers, cooks, kitchen laborers, clerical workers and technical workers reached an agreement with Eastern Sept. 2.

The agreement was reached for 187employees, the 77 in the clerical subgroup of the union and the 110 in the service worker subgroup of the union.

AFSCME has ratified the tentative agreements that will now be brought to the Board of Trustees during their meeting Friday afternoon.

Currently, it is recommended that the board approve the items.

Bargaining for service workers began on July 1, 2020 and bargaining for clerical workers began June 23, 2020.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was utilized to reach an agreement for both subgroups of the union.

The FMCS is an agency whose mission is to “preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation,” according to its website.

It also “helps build better relationships through joint problem-solving and constructive responses to inevitable conflict. In turn, this improves the ability of organizations to create value for customers, shareholders and employees alike, and substantially benefits the national economy. The Agency concentrates its efforts on assisting employers and employees in coping with the demands of a rapidly changing workplace,” according to the website.

The clerical contract will be effective July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023 and the service contract will be effective from Sept. 15, 2020 to Sept. 14, 2023.

Both groups will receive a retroactive 1.5 percent increase, a 1.25 percent increase in 2021 and a 1.25 percent increase in 2022.

Each employee will also receive a $150 lump sum payment.

Overall, the cost of the raises to the university will be $300,628.

Since the union began bargaining, they spent a combined 834 days seeking an agreement.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]