Free Cecily! Unions Urged to Support McMillan
May 13, 2014
Union members certain that 25-year old Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan is being unjustly prosecuted for taking part in demonstrations at Zuccotti Park two years ago are calling on their brothers and sisters in the labor movement to urge sentencing Judge Ronald A. Zweibel to set the young woman free.
More Reactions to Mayor de Blasio's Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2014
May 8, 2014
“Clearly, Mayor Bill De Blasio recognizes his responsibility to respect the collective bargaining law and work together with the city’s dedicated workforce through their elected union representatives to find solutions to the problems our city faces. The health care agreement is an example of what cooperation and mutual respect can produce…”
For the Record
April 14, 2014 / The Chief
Although there’s been talk of the Working Families Party running a candidate against Governor Cuomo because of unhappiness with some of his actions—most recently the failure to gain an agreement on a full-fledged public funding of campaigns for state offices—several officials last week played down the likelihood of it happening.
Teachers, Nurses and Professors Deserve Contracts First, Union Rep Says
April 2, 2014 / DNAinfo New York
CIVIC CENTER — Unions representing city teachers, nurses and college professors should be the first on the list for contract renewals with City Hall since they've gone the longest without them, labor leaders said.
The United Federation of Teachers, the New York State Nurses Association and the Professional Staff Congress missed out on the last round of negotiations and have been toiling without a contract since theirs expired in 2009 and 2010, said Harry Nespoli, the head of the Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group representing the city’s public sector unions.
Park Ave. Explosion Claims Life of CWA Member's Husband
Among the eight people known to have died in the East Harlem blast was Andrea Panagopoulos, husband of Guild member Liseth Perez, an editor at El Diario, the country’s oldest Spanish-language newspaper, whose staff has been represented by the Guild for many years. The Guild is taking up a collection to help Liseth in her time of need. The Local will match all contributions received, up to $5000.
‘Can’t Trust the Bosses’ - Unions Skeptical Reform Good for Civil Service
February 3, 2014 / The Chief
Calls for reform to the civil-service system were met with skepticism from union leaders and words of caution from other city luminaries at a Jan. 29 Citizens Union panel on the fiscal challenges New York faces and the changes that could produce a better and well-compensated workforce.
Janison: Cuomo, de Blasio pre-K battle heats up
January 23, 2014 / amNewYork
Fireworks have broken out over the funding of early-childhood education, with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now in full pushback mode against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tax-the-rich demand.
Cuomo and his aides have begun to suggest openly what they’ve already said privately — that fellow Democrat de Blasio’s requested surcharge on New York City’s wealthiest is driven by something other than the cause of universal pre-K.
Ex-Chief Negotiator Under Koch Given Reins by de Blasio
January 6, 2014 / The Chief Leader
Even as some municipal union leaders who dealt with Robert W. Linn as Mayor Ed Koch’s chief negotiator questioned whether he would be as sympathetic to city workers as he sounded in accepting Mayor de Blasio’s offer to return to the role he left 24 years ago, one of them said that who the city’s Labor Relations Commissioner was mattered less than the marching orders he was given.
“He was working for a different administration,” Arthur Cheliotes, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1180 since the late 1970s, said Dec. 31 of Mr. Linn’s six years as Director of the Office of Labor Relations under Mr. Koch, who had first gotten elected vowing to be tough on the unions.
Democrats, labor leaders treated as VIPs at Mayor de Blasio's inauguration
January 2, 2014 / Daily News
Now that de Blasio has taken office, union leaders and Democrats will find more of a welcome at City Hall. The VIP seats at de Blasio's inauguration were packed with politicians and labor bosses celebrating their return to influence.
Arthur Cheliotes, a Communications Workers of America honcho who spent lavishly on attack ads that helped sink Christine Quinn’s mayoral bid, was one of the labor leaders who had VIP seats at de Blasio's inauguration. Cheliotes is seen here at a press conference on April 8.
Allege City Discriminates Against Admin. Mgrs.
December 9, 2013 / The Chief
The city has discriminated against Administrative Managers Levels I and II, civil service titles dominated by women of color, by suppressing their minimum salary for years, Communications Workers of America Local 1180 charged in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint.
The union, which has represented Administrative Managers since a 2009 decision by the Office of Collective Bargaining’s Board of Certification, is also planning to initiate a class-action lawsuit over the issue.
ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER BARGAINING Update as of…
Update August 11, 2014
Local 1180 PAA et al* Contract Bargaining
DC 37 has overwhelmingly ratified their contract following the pattern of the UFT with some modifications to meet the specific needs of their members. Therefore, we have requested a date to commence bargaining for our members to address our specific needs. We will simultaneously continue our mediation for our Administrative Managers.
We have been in the process of gathering financial data on both the UFT agreement and now the DC 37 agreement. We are also communicating with unions that have and have not reached an agreement. We have asked the city to provide us with costing information on our demands and the value of other items in our contract. Once we know the specifics we will meet to negotiate an agreement. That should be happening in the early fall.
Finally we have an administration that respects the collective bargaining process. Over the last several years, the Bloomberg administration was found to be acting in bad faith by refusing to bargain with Local 1180. The City was ordered to bargain with Local 1180 as Bloomberg vacated City Hall.
The new administration has moved quickly to negotiate 152 contracts for over 300,000 city workers. In nine months 200,000 workers now have new contracts we want to join their ranks. Elections do have consequences!
*NOTE -- The PAA et al contract covers Mayoral Agencies, the Health and Hospitals Corporation. Contracts for the NYC Transit Authority, the NYC Housing Authority, the NYC Department of Education and the School Construction Authority will be bargained separately.
June 27, 2014
Our First Mediation Session for our Administrative Managers was held on June 27th, 2014 at the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations it was convened by the Mediator Susan Panepento from the Office of Collective Bargaining.
The meeting was opened by the mediator who introduced herself welcomed everyone and had everyone introduce themselves. She then turned to the union to make its presentation. President Cheliotes began by giving a history of the Administrative Manager title dating back to 1954 the beginning of the current Career and Salary Plan. He explained how the titles Administrative
Assistant, Administrative Associate, Senior Administrative Assistant and Administrative Manager replaced Clerks Grade 4 and 5 of the old classification system.
In 1976 the city refused to allow Administrative Managers to join the union and placed them in the Managerial Pay Plan (MPP) even though some objected and while OCB acknowledged some were not doing managerial work the Board of collective bargaining would not split up the title as managerial and non-managerial.
In 1978 Broad-banding and consolidation began and the Administrative Assistant, Administrative Associate, Senior Administrative Assistant titles were consolidated into one new title Principal Administrative Associate with three assignment levels. The promise of this upheaval was the chance to take an examination that in 1978 offered a substantial 49% increase in pay from $16,150 to M-1 paying $24,000. The promise of this reward for following the rules and working hard that was offered was a fraud.
He went on to explain that following the consolidation and broad banding the Koch administration issued a report that boasted that it had substantially improved employment opportunities for women and minorities due to a substantial increase in those groups in the Officials and Administrators category in its biennial EEO 4 report to the Federal EEOC. Under closer examination it was revealed to be yet another fraud, the new PAA title added thousands of women and minorities by simply giving them the chance to become an Administrative Manager.
In 1984 Local 1180 petitioned the court and forced Juan Ortiz the City personnel director to hold an Administrative Managers’ test no later than October 1985 and remove provisional appointees once the list was established. In 1987 the union sought contempt charges against the city for not following the order of the court and removing provisional appointees after the list was established.
But by suppressing the M-1 minimum at $27,734 while the PAA 3 minimum increased to $30,321 a promotion could be a pay cut. This was a key part of a deliberate design by the city to discourage minorities and women from becoming Administrative Managers. The City’s new Personnel Director Judith Levitt also approved the reclassification of dozens of Administrative Manager positions held by whites and men thus removing the glass ceiling and replacing it with 6 feet of dirt burying any aspirations of minorities and women to earn what white men had for being Administrative Managers.
The Feerick Commission’s Report New York State Commission On Government Integrity, Playing Ball With City Hall: A Case Study Of Political Patronage In New York City (August 7, 1989), documented how the civil service system was corrupted to facilitate patronage out of the basement of city hall. The broad salary ranges and subjective criteria to set salaries of appointees in the MPP left room for mischief and this broad discretion leads to discrimination and corruption.
The union explained that long serving AM’s and PAA’s recently promoted to AM have overcome all the hurdles, defeated all the barriers and met the rigorous standards as their predecessors. However, they are denied the same rewards as their predecessors.
The current managerial pay plan has no foundation in classification and compensation evaluations of the duties and responsibilities performed. Criteria outlined in a memo from the personnel Director make no mention of a classification and compensation study or audit to determine the proper level of the pay plan. It allows wide discretion that as the Feerick Commission noted when it investigated patronage hiring during the Koch administration led to discrimination and corruption.
The union then presented a spreadsheet displaying the increases in pay for PAA 3 and the MPP minimum from 1978 to 2009. Graphic displays of the data were also presented showing how the MPP minimum was suppressed.
Finally the union stated that it is bad public policy and not in the interest of the public to allow such broad discretion that leads to discrimination and corruption. The suppressed minimum perpetuates inequality. Demoralized AM’s are victims of a corrupted system that perpetuates inequality and does not build public confidence in our government. The suppressed minimum is the result of a fraud started decades ago.
o The job description has not changed
o The latitude for independent decision making has not changed
o The latitude for judgment has not changed
o The qualifications have not changed
What has changed since 1978 is the gender and race of Administrative Managers who hold these positions today? Minorities and women now hold jobs previously held by white men.
What has changed since 1978 is now AM’s have a union! They have collective bargaining rights denied them in 1976. After a decade of hearings Local 1180 was certified to represent them. Now AM’s can demand an undoing of the injustice they have endured for far too long.
We are hopeful; inequality is now being recognized as the danger it is to our society and the public welfare. The new administration has agreed to mediation in an attempt to reach an agreement. This demonstrates elections still do have consequences.
Therefore we are prepared to work with this administration and with help from the mediator reach an agreement. April 15, 2014
At our last membership I reported that with the new administration there is a change in attitude at City Hall and the Office of Labor Relations. I reminded everyone that elections do matter; I explained that unlike Bloomberg, Bill DeBlasio respects the collective bargaining process and takes charges of discrimination very seriously. I reported that I have informally met with the new Commissioner of Labor Relations Robert Lynn to review a list of issues that concern Local 1180. The Administrative Managers’ negotiation and discrimination case was at the top of the list. He agreed to review our list of concerns and get back to me. We are armed with the knowledge that the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission expressed great interest in our case and their staff was eager to conduct a full investigation. However in light of the changes at City Hall we asked that they consider mediating a settlement.
Our motivation to mediate was also based on moving as quickly as we could to find a resolution. Again, we see that we have an administration that is willing to address this very serious charge and work out a solution rather than engage in litigation that could take years to resolve. The Commissioner of Labor Relations Robert Lynn agreed to mediate the EEO case and referred the matter to the New York City Corporate Counsel’s attorneys to make an attempt to resolve the case.
Our attorneys have been engaging in conversations with the city attorneys and staff at the EEOC going over the details of the case and establishing ground rules for the mediation. Our attorneys and I expect to be meeting with the mediator and the city’s attorneys and representatives in the next few weeks. December 3, 2013
On December 3rd, with less than a month before Michael Bloomberg finishes his third term as Mayor of the City of New York, the Communications Workers of America, Local 1180 and its members (CWA), filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender and race based discrimination. CWA intends to initiate a class action lawsuit charging the City with violating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and New York State’s Equal Pay Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related state and local human rights laws.
This complaint comes after the City was found to have acted improperly when CWA brought these concerns to the City's attention (See attached decisions). The current complaint seeks injunctive relief to remedy discriminatory pay practices due to a suppressed minimum salary for Administrative Managers. This job title, CWA alleges, is a segregated and female dominated position in which women are underpaid for their work, even after decades of service to the City.
Arthur Cheliotes, CWA Local 1180 President, said "The pattern and practice of this administration stonewalling and acting in bad faith has hurt all our members, but it has been especially devastating for women and members of color who earn thousands less per year than their white male counterparts. While there is a long history of challenges in collective bargaining, fair pay and workers' rights, these matters deteriorated under the Bloomberg administration."
CWA began representing Administrative Managers in 2009. Upon review and analysis of these new members' salaries and work histories, CWA discovered the pattern of discriminatory pay practices. Historically, Administrative Managers were predominately white men. Over time more women and minorities were appointed to the position. Today, over 78% of Administrative Managers are women, and many are women of color. During this migration, the minimum salary for the position was suppressed even as the maximum salary rose. As a result, according to the City's own records, 82% of Administrative Managers making under $60,000.00 are women, yet in a position overwhelmingly female, little more than half of all Administrative Managers who make more than $85,000.00 are women. Further, women with the same experience make less than their male counterparts. For example, women with 20 to 30 years of experience working for the City make on average almost $7,000 less per year than their male counterparts with the same experience. October 23, 2013
On October 23, 2013 the Board of Collective Bargaining of the City of New York ruled in favor of CWA Local 1180 in connection with two Improper Practice Proceedings stemming from contract negotiations on behalf of employees in the designated title of Administrative Manager.
In the first proceeding, the New York City Office of Labor Relations alleged that the Union failed to bargain in good faith by engaging in surface bargaining and setting preconditions to negotiation during the parties’ contract negotiations, the OCB rejected all claims stating that the record of evidence failed to support any of the allegations.
In the second proceeding, the Union alleged that the City’s initial Improper Practice Proceeding was filed solely for the purpose of delaying negotiations indefinitely, the OCB concurred that the actions undertaken by the city were “meritless”, “frivolous” and amounted to a breach by the City to bargain in good faith.
"These ruling from OCB are tremendous victories for New York City employees and Collective Bargaining Law in NYC,” stated Arthur Cheliotes, President of Communications Workers of America, Local 1180. “The Board has affirmed what labor has asserted for years, the Bloomberg administration that has intentionally ignored their legal obligation to bargain in good faith with unions representing city workers who provide vital city services to all New Yorkers.” July 25, 2013
A hearing on the City’s Improper Practice Petition against Local 1180 was held at the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) on July 11, 2013. Both the City and the Local made opening statements and presented witness testimony. Renee Campion, Associate Commissioner at the Office of Labor Relations (OLR), testified on behalf of the City and our President, Arthur Cheliotes, testified on behalf of the Local.
These charges are nothing more than a stalling tactic by the city. The bargaining committee at the hearing shared that opinion when the charge by the city was not backed up by the testimony of their witness. They charged that the union had issued an ultimatum, leaving the city to believe that unless we got a starting salary of $108,958 we would not sign a contract. But the witness was not able to offer specifics, only feelings.
The evidence presented by the union indicated that our well-documented presentation was clear. In response to the city’s offer to keep the minimum at $53,373 and cut the maximum to $85,000, we stated and presented documents explaining three methodologies that could be used to calculate the minimum:
- The percentage increases in the maximum since 1978 paid Administrative Managers - $108,958;
- The percentage increases since 1978 paid to Principal Administrative Associates - $85,024;
- The increase in the Consumer Price Index since 1978 - $78,971.
Of course our first demand was for the greatest increase possible, which is not an ultimatum but a basis for further negotiation, just as we accepted their outrageously low wage offer as their first offer in negotiations.
At a secondary hearing held on July 25, 2013, the city was given the opportunity to present additional testimony to challenge the union’s testimony. The city was unable to produce such testimony. Final Briefs will be submitted before the end of July for consideration in the Hearing Officer’s decision.
Our struggle continues, the union persisted and demanded that OLR bargain and stop stalling negotiations. We sent a letter to OLR Commissioner James Hanley calling for OLR to come to the bargaining table while the hearing was pending. He responded with a resounding “no”.
We turned the tables on the OLR and filed an Improper Practice Petition against them for refusing to meet and negotiate. Following the hearing, we sent a second letter demanding they bargain pending the Hearing Officer’s decision. Perhaps this administration will have an epiphany, come to their senses, and respect the collective bargaining process. It doesn’t work if the parties aren’t meeting.
June 10, 2013
On April 9, 2013 a pre-hearing conference was held at the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) on the City’s Improper Practice Petition. At that conference the Union asked the City to resume bargaining, the City refused. OCB requested that the City and the Union engage in mediation. The Union agreed immediately but in a letter dated May 7, 2013 the City refused to resume bargaining with a Mediator. On May 14, 2013 the Union sent a letter to the City requesting to resume bargaining with or without a Mediator. On May 20, 2013 the City replied that it would not negotiate until the OCB case on their Improper Practice Petition is completed. As a result the Union has filed and Improper Practice Petition against the City for refusing to bargain. Our petition asks that OCB dismiss the City’s petition and order the City to negotiate in good faith with the Union.
Hearing dates are scheduled for July 11 and 25 on the City’s petition. March 21, 2013
In response to our last bargaining session on January 23, 2013 the City filed an Improper Practice Petition against the union with the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) on February 7, 2013. The City claims that the union is setting pre-conditions on the bargaining process and is acting in bad faith. They specifically claimed that the union is preparing a lawsuit against the City and that if an impasse panel awards something less than the minimum salary the union is seeking that the union will file a lawsuit. On January 23the union did present information that could be the bases of a discrimination lawsuit. We stated that this union was prepared to work with the City to mitigate any punitive penalties it may face by moving quickly to bargain an agreement that will correct the discrimination we have now brought to their attention. We offered several options for establishing a minimum salary for Administrative Manager. Our attorneys don’t see any improper action on our part and they have prepared a response to the City’s petition. We believe that we have a strong case and this is a delaying tactic by the City. NON-PROFIT CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS ASPCA
Contract expired on December 31, 2012 - negotiations for new contract ongoing. SUSTAINABLE SOUTH BRONX
Contract expired on December 31, 2012. Negotiations were delayed due to the organization was nearly defunct. Financial situation improved and in February 2013 both parties agreed to a 3% increase retroactive to September 1, 2012. May 22 or May 23 is tentative date to initiate new contract negotiations.
NEW YORK CONVENTION CENTER (Jacob Javitz Center)
Contract expired on March 31, 2008. Collectively all unions including 1180 have avoided negotiations since 2008 as management dogged insistence on givebacks including having employees contribute to their health coverage.
UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM
In 2012 a new president desired to renew negotiations. Negotiations proceeded with a tentative agreement of substantial increase. Employees rejected ratification of agreement. New dates have been submitted to restart negotiations.
Contract expired in March 2011. 8 unions including 1180 represent this shop. Management is bent on concessions from the employees and thus all unions have not engaged in negotiations. The unions have sued the employer for implementing changes without prior negotiations. Negotiations are at a standstill while the legal process takes place. NATION INSTITUTE
Contract expired on December 31, 2012. Negotiations have been difficult as the organization has financial issues and want members to start paying for health coverage. Members do not want to open the door on this issue as once it is open it will be impossible to close.
Feb 6, 2014
CWA e-Newsletter: Feb. 6, 2013
Secrets Are No Fun – TPP Should Be Shared With Everyone; Trade Yes, But a Different Track; A CWA Activist Tells Senate Dems the Truth About Working Families; NABET-CWA Members Bring Olympics Home; NYC Politicians, Community Rallies Around Cablevision Techs; VP Biden: 'Collective Bargaining Is the Bedrock Of Our Economy'; and more. Read More
Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun—TPP Should Be Shared With Everyone
CWA activists are leading the opposition to “fast track” authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Read More
Trade Yes, But a Different Track
In The Huffington Post, CWA President Larry Cohen outlines how we can press "reset" on trade policy and restore the American Dream for working families. Read More
A CWA Activist Tells Senate Dems the Truth About Working Families
CWA Local 2204 Vice President Naomi Bolden gave voice to the struggles of working families at Senate Democrats' retreat on Wednesday. Read More
NABET-CWA Members Bring Olympics Home
When NBC Sports’ coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games begins tonight, more than 100 NABET-CWA members will be working behind the scenes in Sochi, Russia, to bring home all of the action to viewers in the U.S. Read More
NYC Politicians, Community Rallies Around Cablevision Techs
On the first day of Black History Month, more than 300 Cablevision technicians, CWA members, allies and elected officials gathered in midtown Manhattan to rally for a fair contract. Read More
VP Biden: ‘Collective Bargaining Is the Bedrock Of Our Economy’
Vice President Joe Biden tweeted this message yesterday, driving home the connection between the lack of bargaining rights for U.S. workers and our declining middle class income. Biden wrote, "Collective bargaining is the bedrock of our economy." Read More
TNG-CWA Journalists Withhold Bylines To Protest Contract Proposals
Fed up with their employers' terrible contract demands, members of The Newspaper Guild-CWA have launched two actions in the past week that are unique to journalists: byline strikes. Read More
Activists, Leaders Take Action at D9 Conference
Lots of action at the District 9 conference this week. Read More
Long Island Residents Say, ‘We Want FiOS!’
CWA and community activists, elected officials and other residents of Brookhaven, N.Y., jammed a town hall meeting to push Verizon to build out FiOS service for television and high speed Internet to the Long Island town. Read More
Next CWA Telephone Town Hall is Feb. 20
Don't miss the February CWA telephone town hall call. It's the best way that CWA members can keep up with everything that's happening, from bargaining to movement building to restoring our democracy. The next call is Thursday, Feb. 20. Read More
CBO: Affordable Care Act Means More Options for Workers
It's amazing how quickly some media outlets jumped to misconstrue the latest findings from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on the effects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. The New York Times editorial board got it right. Read More
Bargaining Underway for Southeast AT&T Mobility Members
CWA's District 3 AT&T Mobility bargaining committee is working hard to negotiate a fair and just contract for more than 13,000 Mobility members. The current contract expires Feb. 7. Read More
Finally, A Bill That Will Help Us Take Back Our Politics
CWA applauded the introduction of H.R. 20, the Government By the People Act. Read More
Remembering Pete Seeger
There have been many tributes to Pete Seeger marking his death at age 94 last week. Check out this video and audio tribute to Seeger by Democracy Now. Read More
Do You Support Good Green Jobs?
Join us next week for the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington, DC. Read More OLDER