SEIU 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
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.
SEIU steward Robert Gilmer (left) presents Dan Weikal with a $500 contribution from the Metro chapter to the DCSO’s “Toys for Tots” campaign.
SEIU Local 205 was proud to be a co-sponsor of The Motorcycle Run, a fundraising event held by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office to raise money for Toys For Tots.
Metro chapter union members voted to contribute $500 towards the event.
“I am so thankful and proud to be a part of this great cause, which would not be possible without committed people who believe in our mission” said SEIU member Jack Byrd, a DCSO corrections officer who spearheaded the effort.
This was the highest grossing year for the event, doubling the amount that was raised last year. Over 2100 toys and $13,000 was raised by the DCSO with SEIU’s help and all the money stays in Middle Tennessee with 100% going to Toys for Tots.
Funds that were raised didn’t just go to toys. Coats, clothing, shoes, and hygiene items were also purchased. The donation from the SEIU Metro chapter was the campaign’s second largest gift received by a single contributor.
Your union continues to grow in strength and numbers in 2011 and a recent example is the new cadet class for the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
On Aug. 8 during a new hire orientation, 24 new DCSO employees decided to join SEIU Local 205.
“This is the largest single group to sign up for the union out of the Sheriff’s Office as long as anyone can remember,” said Robert Gilmer, a corrections officer and union steward who was key to the organizing effort. “What this tells me is that public employees are starting to figure out that in today’s political and economic climate, they need to protect themselves and the union is the best way they can do that.”
The last new cadet class at the DCSO signed up in large numbers as well and was mentioned in the Winter 2010 edition of the Local’s statewide newsletter, The Volunteer.
When it comes to public safety, strength in numbers and solidarity can literally mean the difference between life and death. That lesson is not lost on both the uniformed officers and the civilians working at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (“DCSO”) as both new recruits and long-time veterans have been joining SEIU over the last several months thanks in no small part to Robert Gilmer, a Sheriff’s Deputy who has brought new energy to the DCSO. Over the last several months, Gilmer has worked with SEIU organizers to cultivate a new wave of union activism that has resulted in dozens of new members and some hard-earned union victories.
In addition to the recent victory on seniority rights we reported on, the union was able to get three officer suspensions waived. “The employees are seeing first-hand how the Union can get things done if we are strong, united, and vigilant,” Gilmer says. “I am proud of what we have accomplished at DCSO in 2010 and expect to see even bigger gains for the members in 2011”.
When two union members at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office realized that their shifts and days off were going to be affected by an order from their supervisor, they called their Union.
Turns out the supervisor was not following seniority rules and the departmental policies that had been put in place. Soon, the two officers were made whole and the problem was resolved. “One of the reasons we have a union is to make sure that Management is held accountable to the rules and regulations, just like the rank-and-file are,” says Robert Gilmer, shop steward. “Seniority matters to our members and we have to make sure Management takes it seriously too”.