On Tues., April 18, a delegation of over 200 members of the Coalition of City Unions (CCU) delivered a 50-foot long petition to Mayor Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council demanding a fair contract for City workers.
Lining the steps and filling the lobby inside Seattle City Hall, members chanted and cheered as the petition containing the names of nearly 6,000 City workers, union members, and community allies cascaded down the stairs. The CCU also delivered a large, printed stack of signatures to a representative from the Mayor’s office, and to Seattle City Council during the public comment period of their afternoon session.
CCU members at the event were energized by the solidarity demonstrated by the crowd and all of the petition signers.
“It’s easy for what’s happening to City workers to get swept under the rug, but there’s no substitute for direct action,” said Catriana Hernandez, a CCU member from the Dispatchers’ Guild.
The Coalition’s online petition began circulating in March after bargaining team members who are negotiating the next contract received a proposal from the City for a one-percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2023. In the petition, Coalition members and supporters urge the Mayor and Council to send City negotiators back to the bargaining table with a fair and equitable pay raise proposal that adequately addresses both the historic inflation levels nationwide, and the continually escalating cost of living in Seattle.
“I want my city to thrive,” said Stefan Schmidt, a CCU member from Teamsters 117. “City workers are the ones who keep Seattle running – we are essential, not expendable.”
The CCU represents City workers from 11 unions, including PROTEC17, LiUNA Local 242, AFSCME Council 2, Local 104, Seattle Dispatchers Guild, Sheet Metal Workers Local 66, IBEW Local 46, IAM District 160, Teamsters 117, Teamsters 763, and IATSE Local 15. They are fighting for a contract with the City of Seattle that prioritizes RSPCT: Racial Equity, Safety, Pay and Affordability, Climate Justice, and Time/Work-Life Balance.