CWA 1180 Retiree Division - A History The Union – CWA Local 1180
The first union of New York City supervisory and administrative employees, called the Municipal Management society (MMS), was formed in 1954, but it did not have collective bargaining rights. In the early 1960s, when public sector organizing exploded and other city workers were making significant gains through collective bargaining, MMS members decided that they too, needed to be able to negotiate collectively in order to advance their interests. They set to work to sign up the necessary majority of workers. Then in 1965, they voted to join the Communications Workers of America- and Local 1180 was born. With CWA’s help, they overcame the last legal obstacles to obtaining a bargaining certificate, which they did in 1966. In 1967, Local 1180 signed its first contract with the City of New York.
Local 1180 ws CWA’s first public sector local. Today, it remains one of the largest public sector local in the union, which now represents tens of thousands of state and local workers throughout the country. Local 1180 has 7000 members and over 6000 retirees. About 80 percent of our members are women.
Most Local 1180 members work for/retired from the City of New York. As administrative and supervisory workers, we have processed payrolls, managed computer systems, monitored contracts, paid vendors, supervised front line staff, and in general, have coordinated a whole host of things that most people don’t realize, need coordination. We are the hidden human infrastructure that makes the city work. As one Local 1180 retiree from the Board of Education put it “we may not be the heart and soul of education, but administrative people are the arms and legs of the body. Without us, it wouldn’t work.”
Since its founding in 1965, Local 1180 has expanded its membership. We now represent administrative workers not just in the city, but in the state court and at a number of quasi-public authorities and no-profit organizations. The union is actively seeking to organize more workers in these sectors. The Retiree Division
In 1996, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer a new benefit to retirees that would assist the retired member in transferring from a worker to a retiree. The age wave was producing a new group of retirees that had shown a great interest in remaining active after retiring. The Retiree Division was born that year that presented retirees with recreational programming, workshops, educational classes, union benefits, health care provider, social security and legal seminars all within a new center housed 97 Hudson Street, on the lower level of the building occupied by Local 1180. The Division reaches out to members and provides an opportunity that promotes their physical and emotional well-being as they remain active educationally, culturally and socially. The Retiree Division engages retirees in activities which support a long and healthy retirement with the dignity and respect that they have earned.