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AFSCME Local 3399 members approve new wage agreement after months of uncertainty

Pictured are members of AFSCME Local 3399, including their president, Sean Hendley (red bandana). (Photo credit: AFSCME Local 3399)
By Cyndy Flores ·

After more than nine months of negotiations, members of AFSCME Local 3399 (Council 67) approved a new agreement with the city of Takoma Park over wages for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

“We are proud that our direct action campaign has delivered some much-needed and deserved economic relief for our members,” Local 3399 President Sean Hendley said. “We also want to thank local residents and other supporters who contacted the Takoma Park City Council and stood by us along the way.”

Local 3399 represents about 80 city workers, including public works employees, police dispatchers, librarians, crossing guards, gardeners, planners, recreation and arts program organizers, and additional city staff.

Signed on Dec. 14, the agreement addresses the long fight for fair wages, with union members receiving a 3% wage increase, retroactive to July 1, 2021. Public works employees and police dispatchers also will receive a $3,400 bonus from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – which AFSCME members helped pass – for risking their health and safety as front-line workers who provided critical city services throughout the COVID pandemic. For more information about the contract and the fight to secure it, read this Washington Post story.

Earlier this year, city management offered a 1.8% increase and no bonuses to Local 3399, the police union and unrepresented employees. Local 3399 members voted against this offer, and as a direct result of the public campaign by our union members and vocal supporters, secured a $2,500 end-of-year bonus and 3% retroactive wage increase for all city employees.

But the fight for better wages continues. The local continues to advocate for ARPA bonuses for additional members who reported in person during the pandemic but were denied bonuses because of a rigid definition of front-line employees.

“City workers continued to keep up the standard of city services during the pandemic, and deserve respect and appreciation for the work that they do,” Hendley said. “Unions are only as strong as their members and public sector unions are only as strong as the support from the communities they serve. When we all work together, everyone wins.”

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