AFSCME Local 3339 secures new contract

AFSCME Local 3339 has secured a new contract with the City of West Hollywood.

The new 5-year contract was finalized just two months after negotiations began. Surprisingly, the negotiations process was smooth, which has not been the case in previous bargaining sessions. “The process in its entirety was collaborative and friendly even when there were disagreements,” said Bobby Safikhani, President of AFSCME Local 3339. The friendly bargaining process was due, in large part, to President Safikhani and Vice President Clavon Jubrey. Throughout the negotiations process, Safikhani lobbied City leaders to ensure the foundation of the process remained easy-going and collaborative.

The Local managed to obtain benefits that would invest in the longevity and wellbeing of employees, while staving off takeaways. “Thanks to our close relationship with our labor-friendly City Manager and the overall management team, proposals being made from several members of management to increase authority over members were successfully lobbied against and prevented from ever being presented,” Safikhani stated. “There was concern that our free healthcare would not remain so free, but we ensured free healthcare was secured for the entirety of the MOU.”

Some contract highlights include an immediate 5.5% cost of living adjustment with a guarantee of about 23% over the next five years, added Juneteenth as a holiday, increased parental leave by 132 hours, and removed the cap on tuition reimbursement with an additional provision allowing reimbursement of books and necessary materials. The bargaining team also negotiated protections against a hostile work environment.

The Local 3339 bargaining team has set the bar for future negotiations with the City of West Hollywood. They have shown future bargaining teams that it is possible to negotiate a strong Union contract without the process being tumultuous. “The biggest win was establishing a precedent and foundation of how MOU negotiations should and can be; collaborative and pulling off a win-win for everybody,” said Safikhani. “Nothing was taken away and plenty of additions to benefits were made.”