Roswell Members Achieve 11 Percent Wage Increase Over Two Years
Membership mobilization and political action continue to pay dividends for UWUA members in Roswell, NM, as Local 51 recently ratified a new collective bargaining agreement posting solid wage gains and providing that UWUA members will have substantial input into safety and health issues affecting city workers.
The contract, ratified this summer following contract reopener talks, guarantees over 4.8 percent in wage increases for all bargaining unit members during 2019. Under the contract, city employees were scheduled to receive a 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase in July, followed by a 2 percent step increase in December.
“This is the first time in years that Local 51 members have been able to win fair wage increases without having a major fight with city administrators,” noted UWUA National Representative Jerry Acosta. “These gains are a direct result of the member mobilization campaign we have conducted in Roswell over the past three years.”
The new contract also provides for Local 51 to appoint bargaining unit employees from each of seven departments throughout city government to attend all City of Roswell safety committee meetings. UWUA committee members will attend the safety meetings with pay whenever they take place during normal work hours. Compounded with the wage gains now secured in the 2019 contract, Roswell employees have gained an average of 11.5 percent in wage increases for the past two years.
The union took the city to arbitration to successfully restore the step and bonus payments in February 2017, and then won contract language later that year guaranteeing the payments in the future. In 2018, UWUA organized a coalition of all unions in Roswell to elect two new, union-friendly members to the city council.