From The Chief-Leader
TEA Local Leader Starts Pay Talks In 3-Union Coalition
By MARK TOOR | Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 5:00 pm
ROBERT CASSAR: A receptive ear at City Hall.
The president of the union representing many Traffic and Sanitation Enforcement Agents said last week that contract talks have begun with the city and he is optimistic that it will respond favorably to proposals that would improve the status of his members, who are classified as uniformed employees.
“Historically, some minority work units have not been treated fairly,” said Robert Cassar, president of Communication Workers of America Local 1182. “This administration is aware of the inequities and is willing to fix them.”
Representation Up in Air
The Board of Collective Bargaining ruled in January that Traffic Enforcement Agents, who are represented by different unions depending on their level, should be represented by one union.
While that is worked out, Mr. Cassar, who represents TEA I’s and II’s, is negotiating in a TEA coalition with District Council 37 and Teamsters Local 237.
“DC 37 has and will always speak on behalf of our members to reflect their concerns—in this case, the concerns of TEA Level III’s and IV’s,” DC 37 President Lillian Roberts said in a statement. “Their issues will be addressed by DC 37’s elected leadership, President Joe Puleo and First Vice President Marvin Robbins of Local 983, along with their negotiating representative. At the end of the day, any final agreement will reflect the concerns of the members of all the unions involved.”
“The DC 37 contract is an office-workers’ contract,” Mr. Cassar said. “We’re out there in the rain and snow. We are not office workers.”
Without going into depth about his contract proposals, Mr. Cassar said he would like to see some form of unlimited sick leave, which police officers have, and improvements in salary. Starting salary for a TEA is $29,217; for a Police Officer it is $41,975.
“DC 37’s longstanding policy is we do not negotiate in the press,” Ms. Roberts said.