Show your solidarity and sign out 2023 Bargaining Petition! Click Here
Now that we have the results of the 2023 State worker bargaining survey, the bargaining committee has been hard at work preparing proposals to reflect your priorities. As we start negotiations, we wanted to share what members said should be some of our biggest priorities at the bargaining table.
Economic issues are front and center for us in this round of negotiations.
Salary increases – We are not in a 2% world. We know the state’s economy is strong right now, inflation has hit everyone hard and continues to do so, and the labor market has changed. Our bargaining demands reflect these realities. Our demands on salary also take our membership into consideration. We have members still moving through the step system and we want to protect that system, and hopefully expand it. We have members at lower wage scales and we want to try to bring those up. We also have members at top step who have been there for a while. Bottom line, we are looking for higher raises and we will try to modernize the structure of the step program for all members.
Healthcare – members are in solidarity around protecting what we have, doing what we can to avoid paying more, and trying to deal with the copay increases for specialists and urgent care visits that happened this year due to the unprecedented premium increases.
During the last round of negotiations, we did a lot of work on health benefits. We negotiated away from the chapter 78 contribution rates and implemented our own rates which are a percent of salary and are much lower than if we stayed on chapter 78. This was good bargaining and has saved members thousands of dollars in the past 5 years. In fact, the only increase we have had in our contribution rates since 2019 was the small 3% increase we negotiated for 2023. That’s a success and we need to protect it.
Telework – it works well for some of our members. Some are happy with the current program and some want it expanded even more, or made more flexible. Keep in mind however that CWA represents members across ALL state government in ALL lines of work. Telework is not possible for all lines of work, so as a UNION we won’t sacrifice one group for another in terms of telework but let’s keep in mind it doesn’t work the same for everyone. We intend to bargain tough and smart on this issue because we recognize our workplaces are modernizing very quickly and telework is becoming a recruitment and retention issue as much as wages.
Job Security – As a result of our collective political efforts in passing the Responsible Collective Negotiations Act (RCNA), we now have the opportunity to negotiate anti-layoff and anti-privatization contract language under that new state law. Many members are also concerned about the threats to our jobs and promotional opportunities due to the ever increasing use of temporary workers. Fighting for strong job protections will be an on-going priority in this and every contract we bargain in the future.
There are of course other priorities in the surveys and other long-term priorities for the Union. We are going to bargain tough to get the best contract possible.
We have high goals we’re fighting for, so we’re going to need you and all of members to be 100% engaged and ready to mobilize to help push us over the goal line. We’ll be providing updates throughout the process so keep an eye out. The first thing we’re asking members to do is go to the link below and sign a petition to show your support for the bargaining team’s efforts. Our solidarity is what will give us the power to win!