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Union negotiators betray rank and file in DCTU/City dispute

Many city workers organized under the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) are not only dissatisfied with their new contract but also angry at the union Business Agents who caved in to the City last week and who will not have to live with the new contract themselves. The deal, in all important aspects the same as the one rejected by the membership last month by a 3 to 1 ratio, was accepted by negotiators at the last minute while rank and file members on the Bargaining Team were kept from the table. The main point of contention is over health care.

Contrary to the portrayal of Yvonne Martinez as an uncompromising hard-liner in the Willamette Week, her actions were widely regarded as unethical and a sell-out among the Union membership.

On Monday, October 29, the Executive Board of AFSCME Local 189 voted to recommend that its membership vote "No" on this new tentative agreement. The voting will take place on November 8 and 9. If the DCTU membership does reject this offer, then the union will probably have to strike in order to get Mayor Katz and the City Council to negotiate a better contract. Sources say the members are ready to do just that. The DCTU bargaining team and Union bureaucrats may have lost their nerve, but it appears that the members have not.

[ Read More | Message of Solidarity to the DCTU | Background | Local189 Website for more info ]