AFSCME local ratifies 2-year pact with city

November 12, 2001|By Michael Scarcella | Michael Scarcella,SUN STAFF

Members of one of the city's two major labor unions voted yesterday to ratify a two-year pact, although a union official said the agreement was not "a fair deal" for workers.

The contract approved by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 44 garnered near-unanimous support, a union official said. It was similar to the pact signed Friday by the City Union of Baltimore.

The contract awards a $700 signing bonus this year and a 3 percent raise next fiscal year, which starts July 1. There is no raise this year.

Glenard S. Middleton Sr., president of AFSCME Local 44, said last night that while the union supported the contract, he and other union officials remain displeased with some of its contents.

"It puts a bad taste in our mouth," said Middleton, whose organization represents mostly blue-collar workers. "The mayor's focus is about protecting us from terrorist attack. It is our concern this mayor has not given city workers - ... the nuts and bolts of the city, the workers on the ground at the train fire for 17 days - a fair deal." Middleton said the union lobbied for a raise this year and sought a classification study to look at how job responsibilities change.

Middleton said one good thing about the new two-year contract is that the AFSCME health care plan will not change.

CUB and AFSCME contracts are expected to be approved next week by the Board of Estimates.

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