Local 2002 members ratify first union contract

AFSCME Local 2002 members have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with the City of Anaheim.

After successfully organizing three bargaining units, the confidential Unit, the general management unit and the professional/technical unit, an interim leadership team and bargaining committee got to work, and both sides signed ground rules by the City and AFSCME District Council 36 in October 2018.

The process was very strenuous. It included more than 60 bargaining sessions and a string of actions to put pressure on the city to accept the local’s proposals. “This entire process was an ultra-marathon and not a sprint and the end result were there were no actual winners or losers,” says Richard Yuen, a member of the Local 2002 bargaining team. “We won because everyone benefited but we also lost because employees retired, resigned, and moved elsewhere.”

Throughout this lengthy process, Local 2002 members took various actions to put pressure on the city. They held rallies outside City Hall, circulated petitions amongst the membership, met with City Council members, and filed unfair labor practice charges. The local was close to reaching a tentative agreement in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic began which prolonged the bargaining process. Finally, after three years, Local 2002 members have overwhelmingly voted yes to ratifying the collective bargaining agreements for the three units.

Local 2002 members at a rally outside City Hall.

The hard-fought contracts address wage disparities that all three bargaining units have been dealing with for years. “We fought over many issues, including improving the compensation structure for all three bargaining units, treatment of the confidential unit related to the City’s unilateral decision to withhold a scheduled wage increase, which led to an unfair labor practice charge with PERB,” says Moses Johnson, a member of the Local 2002 bargaining team. “We also fought for reimbursement for work boots and fair across the board wage increases to make up for many years without receiving any for the two management bargaining units.”

A major win for the management units was raising the compa-ratio from 115 percent to 120 percent. Now their full increase will go toward their pension credit. This will address the wage disparity between the City of Anaheim and surrounding cities. Additionally, the compensation package for the confidential unit led to resolving the unfair labor practice charge filed against the city.

After years of negotiating, Local 2002 members are relieved to finally have a union contract. During this entire process, they have stood together and did not back down to the City’s attempts to undermine how vital they are to the City of Anaheim. “In the beginning my greatest struggle was the realization that the executive management/city council/HR negotiating team had little respect for staff and that it was more important to them to "win" than to provide adequately for staff,” says Heather Fuller, a bargaining team member for Local 2002. The entire membership rallied around each other and continued to fight until they secured a strong first contract. “Many of the highlights involved the way our negotiating team and the members of the local in general supported each other and worked hard to ensure that ALL members would be treated well and with respect,” Fuller added.

Congratulations to the entire Local 2002 membership.