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Historic contract for Naples city workers will help attract, retain workers

Naples, Florida, downtown cityscape on the bay at dusk. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
By Antonio Lewis and Mark McCullough ·

Members of Local 2017 (AFSCME Florida) in Naples, Florida, are celebrating a huge victory after securing a hard-fought two-year contract.

After almost a year of virtual and in-person negotiations, a tentative agreement was finally reached. But the Naples City Council voted it down and told the interim city manager to negotiate a one-year contract with almost no pay increase.

Immediately, the local’s newly elected executive board organized actions across the approximately 225-worker bargaining unit in support of the negotiating team. That included nearly 50 members showing up to a negotiating session in October wearing work t-shirts – a show of support that could not be missed.

Subsequently, the city council unanimously approved the biggest two-year wage increase since the financial crisis of 2008. Members won a 4% raise for the current fiscal year and a 5% increase for 2022-23 fiscal year.  Other key victories in the contract include a $300 annual Christmas bonus, longevity pay and an education reimbursement program.

The increased wages and benefits will go a long way to reaching one of the local’s main goals of ensuring that the city can hire and retain qualified workers so they can continue to provide essential services to the community.

“We appreciate and are proud of the active members of the local,” the executive board said in a statement.

Members plan to push for three-year contracts in the future.

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