Council 94: If We Ignore It, It’ll Go Away
The largest state employees union has overwhelmingly rejected a four-year deal brokered by its own leaders and the Carcieri administration, by a vote of 2,870 to 196.
Council 94, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, announced the election result this afternoon, after tabulating the votes of its 24 member local unions this afternoon in the basement of its Charles Street headquarters. Union leaders counted the ballots — there were more than 3,000 — by hand.
“Our membership has spoken by voting, and they have rejected the proposed settlement with the state,” Council 94 President J. Michael Downey said in a written statement. “Council 94’s membership strongly believes that the proposed settlement would hurt their economic/job security and their families. There simply were not enough positive aspects of the proposed settlement to outweigh the harsh economic hits which were spread out over four years.”
Among the highlights of the master agreement were: pay raises of zero, 2.5 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent during each of the next four years; a one-day pay reduction in the current year that employees can recoup as a paid leave day; and escalating increases in the percentage of premium the employees will be required to pay for their health insurance….
It’s unclear what will happen to Council 94 and those independent unions who rejected the deal, given that the Carcieri administration issued letters late last month terminating the unions’ most recent conracts, which expired July 1.
The governor’s chief legal counsel, Kernan F. King, said earlier today that the Carcieri administration could force changes on those unions. “The state has some options that it can take unilaterally, which would be interesting,” he said.