On May 23rd, Local 73 held a conference call for City of Chicago Unit 2 members where we discussed important updates on bargaining.
Members Aurelius Cole, Joy Driscoll, and Verna Thompson, informed workers that negotiations have been difficult but that they are standing firm. Six bargaining sessions have taken place addressing economic issues, scheduling, more training for employees, among other issues.
Among the important issues the union is pushing forward is recommissioning of our aviation officers and adding “just cause” rights for traffic control aides. As an aviation officer himself, Aurelius Cole informed members that without being commissioned as police officers, aviation officers lose their ability to be paid fairly. The decommissioning and management’s attempt to privatize aviation officers is an attempt to take away their rights and their worth.
Aurelius Cole speaking at a press conference in December 2017.
Cole stated, “Rahm has made this situation personal…we are going to have to march on City Hall to show them that we are serious. “
Verna Thompson, supervisor at the Chicago Traffic Management Authority.
“They are not seriously considering anything that we have proposed. They are going back and forth in a way that I don’t see as being respectful. I do believe that we are going to have to rally together and march on City Hall to show that we are strong and we are united, and that we are serious about the issues that befall all of us,” said Thompson during the call.
In the midst of negotiating a stronger contract, Local 73 members are also faced with the impending Janus decision that threatens to weaken our union. The decision is expected to come down any day between now and June and all members must do their part to inform their coworkers. One way to spread the word is the “Norma Rae Challenge.” In the notable labor movie titled Norma Rae the principle character stands up at her textile factory and declares her support for a union by holding up a makeshift sign that reads “UNION” for all of her coworkers to see. Make your own “UNION” sign, take a picture and share on your social media using the hashtag #union.
An update on the Committee on the Future was shared with members. Committee members have been working tirelessly to reform our Local’s suspended Constitution and Bylaws in order to build a stronger union. Soon, you will be receiving a postcard in your mail with details on where to find the recommendation the committee is making, information on upcoming meetings, and when voting will begin.