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Robust wage increases coming for Los Angeles City workers

By Daisha Benjamin

Six AFSCME Local Unions representing more than ten thousand Los Angeles City employees have ratified new union contracts with robust wage increases.

AFSCME Locals 741, 901, 2006, 2626, 3090, and 3672 began negotiating with the City in August 2023 as a part of the Coalition of Los Angeles City Unions, which negotiates benefits for all LA City employees represented by AFSCME, SEIU, Teamsters, LiUNA, LA/OC Building Trades, and IUOE.

The Coalition negotiated a 22% COLA over the five-year term of the contract. The new contract also gives members the ability to cash out all of their unused sick time from their 100% sick time bank when they retire, and it would hike the minimum pay of employees to $25 per hour by 2026. The Coalition also negotiated 12 weeks of parental leave and a cashout of unused personal leave at the end of the year. “I have been with the City for 20 years, and never have I had a contract of this magnitude,” said Larry Gates, president of AFSCME Local 3090. “In speaking with my members, almost all are overwhelmingly excited and grateful for the hard work and dedication of the negotiations committee.”

A massive show of union strength and solidarity was the driving force behind securing a strong contract. The Coalition of Los Angeles City Unions held more than a dozen rallies at worksites around the City and held a simultaneous strike authorization vote. These actions caught the attention of LA City Mayor Karen Bass who stepped in and made sure the City negotiated a fair contract. “Mayor Karen Bass knew how crucial it was that negotiations wrapped up quickly. And after we spent hours and hours and hours in discussions with the City Administrative Office, there was a roar of applause and cheers when the TA was reached,” said Jonathan Diaz, president of AFSCME Local 741. “It was 2 am and the room felt like it was a combination of happiness, pride, and especially relief that we were able to reach an agreement so close to our contract expiring. Our hard work had paid off, a city-wide strike would be averted, and our members would have huge gains.”

In addition to the Coalition gains, each Local negotiated massive wins for their members. AFSCME Local 741, which represents part-time recreation and parks assistants and recreation instructors, negotiated a $1 per hour retention bonus for members who work at a high-risk recreation center or park. Similarly, AFSCME Local 901, which represents recreation and parks coordinators and directors, negotiated a 5.5% wage increase for members who work at a high-risk recreation center or park. AFSCME Local 2006, which represents LA City medical personnel, negotiated base wage increases and a $200 increase for all continuing education requirements.

AFSCME Local 2626, which represents librarians, negotiated a starting salary increase for Librarian I’s and a relocation allowance for new employees recruited from afar. AFSCME local 3090, which represents more than 90 classifications, negotiated a retention bonus for police service representatives and a 5.5% bonus for call center employees. Lastly, AFSCME Local 3672, which represents executive administrative assistants, negotiated stand-by and disturbance pay.

“This is a strong contract which was years in the making,” said Leticia Gonzalez, president of AFSCME Local 3672. “Members are finally getting the increases they deserve.” These strong contracts further highlight the value of unions and the power we hold when we stand together.

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