Public Sector Labor Unions

Public Sector Labor Unions at the November 2nd City of Ithaca Common Council meeting.

ITHACA, NY — Public servants of the City of Ithaca want to thank the six members of the Common Council who affirmed their commitment to fair, equitable and respectful treatment of the City’s unionized workers. We are grateful to Alderpersons Brock, McGonigal, Nguyen, Barken, DeFendini, and Cantelmo for strongly and boldly supporting the City’s employees while also condemning recent remarks made by the City Attorney.

The message and spirit of the November 17th letter that this legislative mahority of the Common Council signed is the first meaningful public display of support workers have seen in Ithaca for a long time. Though it was disapointing that some members of Council and Mayor-Elect Lewis declined to sign, seeing the majority of our elected representatives support the unionized workers of the City of Ithaca gives us hope for a better future for our community. Furthermore, by reasserting its statutory authority as the City’s legislative body, Council can govern on its own if needed and adopt negoitating strategies and emploument policies that encompass a holistic approach that considers the needs of the communitiy and the workers, and not just the fiscal impact to the City.

The City has taken a positive first step in removing the City Attorney from negotiating salaries and benefis with labor leaders. That said, his absence during negotiations alone, may not be sufficient to relieve concersn that the City is truly changing its tactics and relationship with organized labor. In the coming months, we are hopeful to see and feel real changes at the barganing table that will iltimately improve the lives of our community members and the workers.

In this week of giving thanks, we are thankful for the Council majority who has the best interests of the City and its workers in mind. We hope that this new coalition on Council will Continue to pursue change so that a new era of parnership and collaboration can emerge. If this can happen, we can finally begin ot improve working conditions and once again be able to effectively provide the highest level of public services that our community deserves, so that we ensure a safe, healthy, vibrant community in which all who live, work, visit and study in the great City of Ithaca can thrive.

In Service & Solidarity,

Thomas Condzella, President of the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association

Jeanne Grace, President of the City Executive Association

Kevin Koehler, President IAFF Local 737, Ithaca Firefighters

Justin Perkins, President CSEA DPW Unit Local 855

Courtney McGuire, President CSEA Admin. Unit Local 855

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