Metro General Government

ChapterLogo_Metro

The Metro General Government (or “Metro”) chapter of SEIU Local 205 is one of the most diverse. It is made up of a combination of blue-collar and white-collar workers who work across dozens of city departments doing skilled and unskilled labor that keeps Tennessee’s capital city running for local residents and the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit Music City every day.

And while the union members in the Metro chapter may come from different backgrounds, have different skills, and work in different kinds of work settings, one thing that SEIU members have learned is how to work together towards common goals: protecting workers’ rights, benefits, improving pay, dignity and respect on the job, and a commitment to excellence and quality public services.

Metro General Government Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) 

Local 205 Endorses Daron Hall for Davidson County Sheriff

DCSO_SheriffHall-MembersService Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205, the labor organization representing employees of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), announced its endorsement of Daron Hall in his bid for re-election as county sheriff.

Hall has served four consecutive terms and three different mayoral administrations since he was first elected in 2002. During that time, corrections officers and other DCSO employees have seen steady increases in pay, better training, and improvements in their retirement benefits thanks in large part to the collaborative relationship SEIU has had with Sheriff Hall.

“We were glad to work with Daron on getting compression pay and salary increases for corrections officers over the last couple of years,” said Brad Rayson, president of SEIU Local 205. “Corrections work is hard and it is always changing – we need someone in that office who will listen to the employees when they see that there are problems and work tirelessly to try and fix them,” Rayson said. “We applaud Sheriff Hall’s effort to decriminalize those with mental or substance issues who enter our jails and his efforts to provide treatment to this population.”

“Sheriff Hall has demonstrated a commitment to helping improve pay and benefits for his staff and a proven track record of being an effective administrator,” said Linda Knox, an SEIU member who served on the union’s political committee. “Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds and our city needs someone who is a proven leader who can deal with the challenges that are set in front of them.”

Election Day is on May 1, 2018 and early voting begins on April. Complete information on early voting dates and voting locations is available from the Davidson County Election Commission at 615-862-8800.

####

SEIU Local 205 represents thousands of public sector employees across the state of Tennessee, including employees of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.

Comments Off on Local 205 Endorses Daron Hall for Davidson County Sheriff

SEIU Helps Win “Paid Family Leave” Benefit for Metro Employees!

Thanks to ongoing advocacy by SEIU and its members, Metro Government employees in Nashville now receive paid family leave as part of their benefits package.

The new benefit allows Metro Government employees to have approximately six weeks of paid time off upon the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill spouse, parent, or child. The benefit is available for employees who have worked for Metro Government for at least 6 months. Employees did not have access to any paid family leave plan prior to passage. No state law in Tennessee or U.S. federal law currently provides for paid family leave.

The new benefit was made possible due to SEIU’s presence and activism on the Mayor’s Council On Gender Equity. The Council serves in an advisory capacity to Mayor Megan Barry and “will assess identified gender inequity issues and develop recommended solutions… that reflects the needs of all”.

Union members James Staub (Nashville Public Library) and Alisa Utley (Emergency Communications Center) were critical in the final stages of the Council’s work by providing testimony about the struggles they face. From the Council’s report:

Library_JamesStaub“…When [James’] wife found out they were expecting twins James began to worry about how he would juggle the needs of a demanding career and the needs of his family. They already had a toddler son at home and the juggling act of two working parents was difficult, before the twins. James knew that his boss would be as helpful as possible but he was concerned because he loved his job and he was good at it but he also wanted to be present in his family responsibilities. He was concerned that he would need to use all of his leave time to care for his family and then heaven forbid if he got sick himself he would be out of time and could therefore face disciplinary action.”

911_AlisaUtley“Alisa’s… mom was diagnosed with late term Leukemia. She was home bound and needed Alisa to take her to all her doctor appointments and treatments. Her Father was blind and had been cared for by her Mother but he too became dependent on Alisa for all of his daily needs. Alisa felt lucky to be able to work the overnight shift so she could care for both of her parents during the day. This went on for 8 years. During that period, the emotional stress of being a good employee and a good daughter was exhausting yet Alisa did it and continues to be a valuable employee to her department today. She says that she wished for flexibility of time so that she could have lessened the toll of caretaking and work.”

This is the end result of advocacy, action, and making politics work in favor of working people. Thanks to James and Alisa for sharing their stories with the Council On Gender Equity so that all Metro employees can enjoy this benefit which not only helps them and their families, but also ensures that the public continues to receive quality service.

The paid family leave benefit is the first item acted upon and passed by the Gender Equity Council. The Council will continue to be active for at least two more years.

Comments Off on SEIU Helps Win “Paid Family Leave” Benefit for Metro Employees!

Metro Government Employees Win Raises, New Pay Plan, & New Benefits!

IMG_2728.JPGSEIU members from dozens of city departments filled the seats during the Metro Council’s Public Hearing on the city budget to make the case that public services and the people who provide them are vital to Nashville’s future.

“Having growth means nothing if regular folks can’t afford to raise a family and take part in the American Dream,” said union steward Tyrone Jolley. “Those are the priorities we need to keep focused on.”

Despite some controversy over the budget request for Nashville General Hospital, the Council voted overwhelmingly to pass the operating budget, pay plan, and other ordinances related to employees that Local 205 supported.

 

2017-2018 Budget Highlights:
METRO GOVERMENT Employees
  • 2% cost of living raise
  • Maintain step raises (2% for those eligible)
  • Shift differential increase (70¢/hr for evening shift, 80¢/hr for night shift)
  • Fund open-range raises
  • Three -year pay plan (2%, 3%, 3%).
  • Longevity pay distributed earlier (Nov. 15)
  • No cuts to department budgets, several new programs implemented

Comments Off on Metro Government Employees Win Raises, New Pay Plan, & New Benefits!

Edna Jones Wins Re-Election to MEBB!

SEIU_for_EdnaJones_promo201We are proud to report that Edna Jones was handily re-elected in the Metro Employee Benefit Board election which was held on May 25.

According to the unofficial results, Edna won with nearly 60% of the vote in a field of six candidates. She won all but one of the six voting precincts spread across Davidson County.

Edna would like to thank all of the members of Local 205 who campaigned for her and those who voted. “I am honored to have another three year term, an opportunity to protect and preserve our benefits, and to insure that your service pension is viable and available when you are ready to retire,” Edna said.

The Metro Employee Benefit Board, manages and administers city employee benefit plans as well as the retirement plans. They also hear reviews and appeals of injured-on-duty cases, disability cases, they oversee the structure and rates for employee and retiree health insurance plans, and they are a forum for any changes or adjustments to employee benefit programs including the pension. There are ten MEBB members. Half are appointed by the mayor and the other half are elected by the group of employees they represent. Edna is one of two representatives for General Government and MNPS employees.

Edna has the distinction of serving as chair of the MEBB for the most consecutive terms. Her current term takes effect once the election results are certified and accepted by the Civil Service Commission. She was elected to a three-year term which begins on July 1, 2017.

Comments Off on Edna Jones Wins Re-Election to MEBB!

Local 205 Endorses Edna Jones for Metro Benefit Board Election on 5/25!

SEIU_for_EdnaJones_promo201SEIU Local 205 is proud to endorse Edna Jones for re-election to the Metro Employee Benefit Board!

Edna, a Metro employee for over 32 years, has served as a General Government representative on the Metro Employee Benefit Board since 2005 and as chairperson of the Board since 2009. She remains committed to promoting the best interests of all Metro employees and will continue to work to insure the best benefits and pension plans are provided. Edna believes experience matters and uses her experience to understand and connect with all Metro Government employees.  She will make no idle promises which cannot be kept but will always be available to answer questions from all employees and research to find the correct answer if it is not readily available.

The Benefit Board election will be conducted by machine vote on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Hours vary by location so see the chart below. Employees will only need a photo ID in order to vote – a paycheck stub is no longer required. This election is only open to current, non-retired Metro Government employees (excluding Police and Fire employees) who are enrolled in at least one Metro Benefit plan (note: Hospital Authority employees are eligible to vote if they were hired before November 2010). 

 Location Time
Ben West Building: Lobby
100 James Robertson Parkway
8:00-4:30
Lentz Public Health Center: Centennial Room C
2500 Charlotte Ave.
8:00-4:30
Lindsley Hall: Entrance Lobby
730 2nd Ave. South
8:00-4:30
Metro Southeast: Break Room
1417 Murfreesboro Pike (Genesco Park)
8:00-4:30
Public Works: Roll Call Room (Operations Bldg)
740 South 5th Street
7:00-4:00
Water Services: 2nd floor Training Rm (Admin. Bldg)
1600 2nd Ave. North
7:00-4:00

Comments Off on Local 205 Endorses Edna Jones for Metro Benefit Board Election on 5/25!

Major Improvements for Corrections Officers & Others @ Davidson County Sheriff’s Office!

Sheriff Daron Hall and SEIU leaders discuss possibilities for a new pay structure @ the DCSO.

Sheriff Daron Hall and SEIU leaders discuss possibilities for a new pay structure @ the DCSO.

As the union for employees at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Local 205 has been aggressive about improving the pay and training for corrections officers.

After a consistent effort by SEIU, the DCSO revised a policy related to the training program for newly-hired corrections officers. Now, their probationary period begins when the training period ends. This is projected to help make new officers safer and to help retain good officers.

The policy change went hand-in-hand with a restructuring of the corrections officer pay scale which SEIU had input on during the city’s overhaul of the Metro pay plan.

“We were glad to work with Sheriff Hall to come up with a way to increase pay for new and existing officers, and at the same time, expand the training program which should help keep us safe on the job,” said corrections officer and union steward Robert Gilmer.

Comments Off on Major Improvements for Corrections Officers & Others @ Davidson County Sheriff’s Office!

Nashville Library Employees Push Back (and Win) Against “Open Range” Pay Proposal!

SEIU members including Bryan Jones speak out against the open range expansion being proposed by Metro H.R.

SEIU members including Bryan Jones speak out against the open range expansion being proposed by Metro H.R.

Using staff at Nashville Public Library as a test case, SEIU asked city employees what they thought about Metro’s proposal to expand Open Range (also known as “merit pay”) in their new pay plan proposal.

The answer was a resounding “NO!” among those who would be affected.

In an informal survey conducted by librarian and union bargaining committee member Julie Burns, there were 21 responses and 20 of them were against the Open Range proposal.

In a separate petition drive among those who would be affected by the proposal, the Union got 33 signatures. “I was surprised and pleased that everyone who was asked to sign the petition opposing Open Range did so,” said Bryan Jones, a librarian who helped conduct the petition drive.

At a staff meeting in the Main library branch conducted by HR officials, not one employee spoke in support of Open Range and all comments were in opposition. (Listen to the meeting here).

The Civil Service Commission will continue to debate the entire pay plan proposal and is expected to vote on it in April.

UPDATE (April 12, 2016): Due to the activism and solidarity of library workers and SEIU’s efforts, Metro has removed the librarians from the open range expansion in their pay plan proposal! The plan which passed the Civil Service Commission leaves all librarians in the traditional stepped pay plan.

Comments Off on Nashville Library Employees Push Back (and Win) Against “Open Range” Pay Proposal!

Metro Government & Local 205 Extend Labor Agreement

The Metro Bargaining Committee. From l-r: Rick Beasley, Julie Burns, Greg Hanserd, Trina Jordan, Daryl Hawkins, Robert Gilmer.

The Metro Bargaining Committee. From l-r: Rick Beasley, Julie Burns, Greg Hanserd, Trina Jordan, Daryl Hawkins, Robert Gilmer.

After multiple meet-and-confer sessions between Metro officials and the union’s Bargaining Committee, the Civil Service Commission approved a six-month extension of the current Memorandum of Understanding between the city of Nashville and Local 205. The agreement, among other things, ensures that SEIU continue to represent the best interests of General Government employees.

The union will be working on getting a more comprehensive agreement later in the year and we encourage members who work in the Metro General Government departments to attend the monthly chapter meetings (third Tuesday at 5:00 pm) to learn more about the process and the issues at stake for city employees.

 

Leave a comment

SEIU Supports Most (But Not All) Of the New Pay Plan Proposal for Metro Employees

At the February meeting of the Metro Civil Service Commission, representatives from SEIU Local 205 spoke at the public hearing on a new pay plan being proposed by the Human Resources department. The new pay plan affects thousands of city employees across dozens of General Government departments and was developed as the result of the Deloitte pay study conducted in 2014-2015, which SEIU participated in at several key stages.

The proposed pay plan for Metro General Government employees includes many improvements that Local 205 has been loudly advocating for over the last several years. Among other things, there are real pay increases for thousands of employees in the SR and TG classifications. The Union also supports the reclassification and upgrades for corrections officers at the DCSO and upgrades for 911 staff at the Emergency Communications Center.

One part of the current proposal that SEIU does not support is an expansion of open range classifications across Metro. Based on academic research and from feedback the Union got from Metro employees, adding more open range classifications to the pay plan does not help current employees or improve services to the public. The Union also raised concerns about the methodology of some of Deloitte’s findings in the pay study for the ECC as well as a recent effort by the Health Department to resist upgrades for some of its staff.

Click HERE to see SEIU’s presentation about the proposed Metro pay plan!

“Most of the proposals in this pay plan proposal gets a thumbs-up from our members,” said Brad Rayson, president of Local 205. “Salary increases for the lower pay grades are a long-time coming after the sacrifices city employees made during the Great Recession. But there are still some concerns we would like to see addressed and we hope that the Civil Service Commission takes action on those.”

SEIU had been involved in the pay plan process from the very beginning. Union members across the departments wrote up proposals for certain positions to be reviewed and upgraded and that information was submitted to both Deloitte and to Metro. Many of the Union’s recommendations were supported by the pay study as early as last year when an extra 3% pay increase was implemented for the benchmarked positions. The Union’s bargaining committee and staff representatives met multiple times throughout the development of the pay plan proposals as well and employees have continued to have a pipeline to information and updates on the process through SEIU at monthly chapter meetings and even special called meetings.

The Civil Service Commission will continue to review the pay plan proposal and is expected to vote on some kind of modified proposal at their next meeting on March 8. Whatever is approved by the Commission will then proceed to council as legislation and the new plan could be enacted early enough to take effect as part of this year’s city budget.

Comments Off on SEIU Supports Most (But Not All) Of the New Pay Plan Proposal for Metro Employees

The Effort to Gut Metro Employee Benefits Fails!

Close to 200 Metro employees and SEIU members packed the Howard School Building to hear Pew's proposal for benefit changes for city employees.

Close to 200 Metro employees and SEIU members packed the Howard School Building to hear Pew’s proposal for benefit changes for city employees.

After a nearly two-year struggle, we are happy to report that the Metro Employee Benefit Board has rejected any cuts to the pension or retiree health benefits for Metro employees!

At their meeting on Oct. 6, the Benefit Board weighed the proposal from Mayor Dean’s Study and Formulating Committee as well as the input from SEIU and decided that it was unfair for firefighters and police to be allowed to keep their medical coverage upon reaching Medicare eligibility while the rest of the city’s employees would be cut off from health insurance when they retired. The Benefit Board voted against the Study Committee’s recommendation, despite a major P.R. push by the Mayor and his allies to convince the public of a “crisis” in unfunded liability for employee benefits which SEIU debunked.

Unless the new mayor or Metro Council decides to revisit this issue, major changes to employee benefits are now effectively dead. You’ll remember that SEIU was able to get any cuts to the employee pension stopped over the summer by an aggressive campaign against the Pew group and the Dean Administration. That victory was only possible because our members turned out and they were vocal about protecting the benefits they earned.

Meanwhile, the Benefit Board did vote in favor of a new lump-sum payout option that the union supports. There are pros and cons to this new option, but the important thing is that the final decision about whether to use it is up to the employee and it is not mandatory. We urge city employees to get more information about this benefit as details are rolled out – assuming it gets approved by the Metro Council.

Thank you to our members who turned out to meetings and talked to their elected officials about these issues and helped secure a major victory. Please tell your non-union co-workers that the reason their benefits are secure is because your Union fought hard to protect them!

Leave a comment