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Council 13 Members Ratify Four-Year Contract with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Photo by: AFSCME Council 13
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By WILLIAM KAUFFMAN, AFSCME COUNCIL 13 Worth the Fight Activism State & Local Budgets Workers' Rights

Members of AFSCME Council 13 have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a four-year contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

tentative agreement was reached on May 30 after months of negotiations between union representatives and Commonwealth officials. Council 13’s State Policy Committee unanimously approved the agreement.

The contract, which will expire on June 30, 2023, includes 16.75% in wage increases over the four years with no increase in health care contributions from employees. The Commonwealth will contribute more toward health care costs throughout the term of the contract.

“I want to recognize the rank-and-file AFSCME members from all over Pennsylvania who traveled to Harrisburg for numerous negotiating sessions, which produced this great deal for their fellow Commonwealth employees,” Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said.

“I also want to recognize Governor Tom Wolf, who managed the budget well enough to the point that we had a surplus for the first time in years, which allowed for a state employee contract that properly compensates the people who make our state government run so efficiently,” Fillman added. “We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Wolf on many issues, including his ‘Lean’ initiative that will focus on improved service to Pennsylvanians and increased savings for taxpayers.”

Full voting results will be posted on AFSCME13.org in the coming weeks.

Pennsylvania is only the latest jurisdiction where state workers have had success – a testimony to the resilience and value of unions.

To quote AFSCME President Lee Saunders from a recent column:

“Thanks to a surge of bold activism from AFSCME members, the governor of Nevada recently signed an historic law empowering 20,000 state employees with collective bargaining rights. They now have the ability to negotiate for a fair return on their work and for resources their communities need. It’s the biggest expansion of collective bargaining for state workers – in any state – since 2003.

Public service workers are raising their voice and demanding respect – in the organizing trenches, at the bargaining table and in state capitals. In Delaware, AFSCME members recently won improved access to wage bargaining. In Illinois, a new contract gives state employees, among other things, their first general pay increases in five years.”

(Contributing: AFSCME International Staff)