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Houston, we have a contract

Photo credit: HOPE Local 123.
Houston, we have a contract
By AFSCME Staff ·

HOUSTON – Members of the Houston Organization of Public Employees (HOPE)/AFSCME Local 123 have ratified a new contract with the City of Houston covering more than 11,000 municipal employees.

HOPE members reviewed the details of the three-year meet and confer agreement over a three-week period and a majority voted last week to accept it.

A key highlight is the increase in the minimum base pay for municipal employees to $14.25 per hour effective October 2021, up from the current rate of $12 per hour.

“Our membership has been essential to keeping our community running, especially during the pandemic. This new agreement has some of the highest wage increases for the lowest paid municipal workers that we have ever had,” said Roy Sanchez, president of HOPE. “We are glad that we could reach an agreement with the city and that Mayor (Sylvester) Turner continues to show leadership by standing alongside essential municipal employees.” 

HOPE Vice President Sonia Rico said having a new contract “means peace of mind for my family and thousands of other families.”

“I feel great because our health care is protected, workers have improved protections and an increased say on health and safety in the workplace,” Rico said.

Dwight Bradley, treasurer for HOPE, focused on the wage increases in the contract.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is that this agreement raises wages significantly for those municipal employees that are the lowest paid,” he said.

Other highlights of the new agreement include raises of 3% for each of the next three years, stronger health and safety language and a provision allowing workers to have union representatives present at meetings with management that could lead to disciplinary action. More details are available here.

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