October 24, 2007
About 90 employees of the city of Moore, Okla., represented by AFSCME Local 2406, have won a historic first contract highlighted by a 4.34 percent wage hike, preservation of seniority and a set schedule of paid holidays.
The City Council unanimously approved the contract Oct. 1, after the workers voted their approval a week earlier. “It has been a very long road for all of us, but we are very pleased with the outcome,” says William Bryles, president of Local 2406. “We organized a union to have a voice in decisions about our jobs and our community, and this contract provides that voice.”
The employees of Moore – along with those of Enid, Lawton, Bartlesville and Muskogee – organized with AFSCME after the state Legislature passed a 2003 law requiring cities of 35,000 people or more to recognize non-uniformed workers’ unions. Although the statute was challenged, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the law is constitutional. Of the five cities, Moore’s employees are the first to negotiate and ratify a contract. Others may soon follow.