CWA Local 1180-National Domestic Workers Alliance Hits Brick Wall on Contract Negotiations & Requests Strike Authorization
Click to Hear WBAI Radio Interview with Luis Benitez-Burgos, CWA District 1 Representative, who spoke about the NDWA contract negotiation roadblocks with management >
June 28, 2022 - Despite a year-long attempt to negotiate a fair contract, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), part of Communications Workers of America Local 1180, has run into repeated roadblocks by management that have stalled negotiations.
Gloria Middleton, President of Local 1180, said that NDWA management was notified of workers’ desire to form a union at the end of June 2020. It wasn’t until Sept. 30, 2020, that management voluntarily recognized the unit. Six months later, workers began bargaining but management has pushed back with no transparency.
“NDWA has been unrealistic in negotiations, failing to adequately address our requests or provide proof that their finances do not allow for any reasonable wage increases,” Middleton said. “Negotiations mean give and take on both sides, but NDWA management is refusing to give; they simply want to take.”
On Oct. 20, 2021, Local 1180 presented a full economic proposal with innovative ideas, and a clear, just, and equitable compensation plan to take effect Jan. 1, 2022. As NDWA has grown, their wage structure has not reflected change within the organization. For example, some employees have been assigned managerial titles, yet do not supervise any employees; there is no clear role in wage placement with seniority or locality not being taken into consideration; and job responsibilities are not a factor in the wage configuration.
Luis Benitez-Burgos, CWA District 1 representative overseeing NDWA negotiations, said staffers have reached peak frustration.
“As early as May 2021, we explained to management the salary inequities and the challenges we have seen,” he said. “We told them this was going to take time, resources, and creativity to address and make sure we develop a compensation program that is fair, transparent, and equitable. No matter how many times we sit to bargain, they do nothing to advance the negotiations, simply telling us they don’t have the economic resources to address our requests.”
While Local 1180 presented a general compensation and benefit proposal on Aug. 2, 2021, it wasn’t until March 31, 2022, that management responded, claiming they needed to do a financial review. They hired a consultant to do market research and came back with a proposal that rejected most of the staffers’ requests.
“We presented our last proposal on May 31, 2022,” Benitez-Burgos said. “It was a review, and by then we had eliminated demands such as an increase on our parental and sabbatical leave, COLA, high-cost city allowance, and an education differential, among others. Management has not proposed anything new in writing since then.”
Middleton and Benitez-Burgos both said that NDWA management is leaving the union with few options.
“All management knows they need to negotiate in good faith when it comes to contracts. NDWA management, however, is doing everything they can to prevent negotiations from coming to a successful end. They are leaving us no choice but to pursue other options as a means of securing a contract for our members,” Middleton said.
On June 15, 97% of the membership voted to request CWA Executive Board authorization for a strike if needed.
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