Saturday, June 3, 2006

Petitions could let 600 city workers join SEIU in Tempe

Petitions could let 600 city workers join union

Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 3, 2006 12:00 AM

Tempe workers signed petitions that pave the way for about 600 employees, such as librarians and groundskeepers, to join a union.

If the signatures are verified, Service Employees International Union's ranks could grow from 200 Tempe workers to 800.

Union growth within Tempe could change the dynamics of city politics and affect the city's bottom line. Unions can play an influential role in local elections by injecting campaigns with donations. More union members could also strengthen employees' voices in wage and benefits issues, which impact the city budget.

Word of the petitions came as the City Council unanimously approved a contract Thursday with 200 Public Works employees who were represented by the SEIU. The contract includes several gains for workers, including boosting the wage scale, adding more vacation days and offering a larger tool allowance....

City Manager is American Libraries columnist Will Manley .

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