Miami-Dade School Employees Finish 2017 With Big Contract Win

During the mad dash that can be found during the last week of classes before the winter holiday break, AFSCME Local 1184 members had their own end-of-year sprint.

The members, who work for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, turned a tentative agreement on wages and benefits into a ratification vote at 10 sites across the county in just six days. Members voted 97.6% in favor of the contract.

“We have had a great year of growth and success and this new agreement proves how the hard work really pays off,” said school bus driver and Local 1184 President Vicki Hall.

The agreement will provide a 2.8% across the board pay increase retroactive to July 1, a decrease in the cost of many medical copays along with the continuation of zero copay for seven classes of generic prescriptions and no change in health care premiums for the third year in a row. And the Local won a reclassification for master custodians that moved them up seven paygrades.

For Joan Jones, a member of the bargaining team and Local 1184 Recording Secretary, explaining why members turning out to the Miami Beach High School ratification site should vote yes was pretty easy. “You get more and you are not giving anything up, simple as that,” said Jones. “This contract is what a stronger membership can deliver.”

Members signed up hundreds of their coworkers as AFSCME members in 2017 and for Angie Barr, a trustee, members turning out to vote at the School Board Administration Building ratification site was just a first step.

“We want all members to come out to the meetings and make us stronger because we are in this together and when we sit down together and talk about what we are facing we really do benefit from more voices and minds in the room,” said Barr.

After ending 2017 on such a strong note, members like Phillip Glenn, a steward who staffed the ratification site at the South Florida AFL-CIO, are not going to let the momentum slip away in 2018. 

“Look what we were able to accomplish not just with this new contract but with better protections on the job, bringing back the employee of the year recognition program and getting so many day-to-day things done that may seem small on the outside but mean the world of difference when it is your job,” said Glenn. “So really, my goal for 2018 is simple – more members. Grow, get stronger and keep raising the bar.