CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “Our members, they’re the ones out there. You see ‘em, pickin’ up the rubbish, fixin’ up your roads, maintaining your parks,” is how Local 1099 business agent Brian Beyer describes his membership.
The union represents laborers in several Northeast Ohio cities. His problem is with the city of Cleveland. The union and the city agreed on a retroactive contract for 2016, 17 and 18. Zero percent, two percent and two percent. It was ratified March 4 by city council, but members are still waiting.
“Yeah, it’s on somebody’s desk,” said Beyer. The city confirms that late last week it got paperwork completed and to the union as Beyer said. It says the raises should come soon.
Workers in the waste collection department may be the hardest hit. Because of recent equipment problems they’ve worked mandatory overtime for months--all for the same pay as 2015. And let’s not forget that labor threw it’s considerable clout behind Mayor Frank Jackson’s half percent income tax increase.
Beyer feels put off by the administration calling it a stall tactic. He doesn’t know why but says it has happened before. A grievance over union work being done at city parks by non-union workers is a perfect example.
"We won the grievance but it took 12 years. You’re spending more on legal fees than the raise. The city has lost binding arbitrations in the past but appealed to courts. Beyer wonders if the city understands the definition of the word binding.
Each of Cleveland’s 450 workers would get about $2,000. The total cost to the city is about $900,000.