FL Local 604 Continues to Make Strides Improving Members’ Lives

Municipal workers in Lakeland are building on their success in a right-to-work state

Securing contract improvements is one way Local 604 President Robb Upthegrove contributes to his Florida community. Another is as a licensed trapper, removing alligators from populated areas and releasing them in the wild.

Securing contract improvements is one way Local 604 President Robb Upthegrove contributes to his Florida community. Another is as a licensed trapper, removing alligators from populated areas and releasing them in the wild.

Municipal workers in Lakeland, Florida, members of Local 604, recently ratified a new 3-year contract that builds on their success in a right-to-work state. The 400 members in electric will see raises of 5%, 5%, and 4%, while the 200 water workers won 4%, 4%, and 4% over the life of the agreement.

“We accomplished every goal we had and are extremely grateful for the National Union’s awesome support for Local 604,” said Local 604 President Robb Upthegrove. “Florida has once again seen the UWUA in action in a right-to-work state. If the UWUA had not helped us organize and fight for a contract, we would not have the pay, benefits, and job protections we have today. We have again climbed up another step by our recent contract ratification vote.

uwuamag_summer2015_local-604-robb-upthegrove-287x300In addition to the raises, Local 604 members won pension improvements, locked in a cost share formula to keep track of health care expenses, and reduced the amount of time needed to progress to maximum pay. And, there were no give backs.

The road to the improved contract was bumpy as the union pursued a number of unfair labor practice charges and lawsuits in order to get the city to understand the membership’s desire to do what it takes to improve their lives and provide the quality of services that taxpayers deserve.

Lakeland is a growing city of more than 100,000 residents located in Polk County, just outside of Tampa.