Manassas, September 19, 2022 - The frontline first responders, county employees, and educators of the Prince William County Labor Caucus call on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and the Prince William County School Board to pass meaningful collective bargaining rights.
Public employees deserve to have a real voice on the job so that we can afford to live where we work, get by on one job, and best support the working families of our county. It’s time for both county boards to pass a meaningful ordinance and resolution with no more delay.
“Our educators deserve a seat at the table where decisions are made regarding our profession and our compensation," ” Maggie Hansford, PWEA President. "Prince William County public servants are united in ensuring all county and school employees have a seat at the table. We urge the Board of County Supervisors and the School Board to pass a meaningful ordinance and resolution this fall. Our county works because our public servants work every day for all families in Prince William County."
Collective bargaining is a proven tool for local governments to improve recruitment and retention. Currently, Prince William County is struggling to recruit and retain police officers, firefighters, educators, nurses, social workers, and county employees needed to keep our community healthy and safe.
"The only way to fix the crisis that faces law enforcement in this county is for the county to fulfill its promise to give us meaningful collective bargaining and a true seat at the table." Katherine Zaimis, President of the Prince William County Police Association.
Last week, dozens of frontline first responders, county employees and community members testified before the Board of County Supervisors in support of meaningful collective bargaining. Many waited until midnight to speak during comment time to share the message: our county works because we do.
“Passing collective bargaining rights is a historic moment for Prince William County employees. If we get this right, we can address high turnover rates across the county, inequities in pay and bargaining, and improve the services that we provide… since this will impact our rights at work, we want to have a say in what is included in this ordinance,” says Kim Finn, a licensed practical nurse for Prince William County’s Adult Detention Center. “I urge you to make amendments my union, SEIU Virginia 512, is asking you to make. Other jurisdictions in Virginia have incorporated these items into collective bargaining agreements.”
We applaud that the Board of County Supervisors directed staff to make improvements to the draft ordinance while recognizing that significant changes still need to be made to ensure that the ordinance benefits county residents and workers.
The Prince William County Labor Caucus calls on county management to work with union members to craft a meaningful final ordinance that will make our community a better place for all working people. We ask that community members reach out to your county Supervisor and School Board Member and let them know that you care, and you support our county employees having a seat at the table.
"We encourage both the county supervisors and the school board to act thoroughly to pass meaningful collective bargaining rights for all county and school staff. By passing a meaningful ordinance and resolution our county residents will be assured that Prince William meets the regional standard and in doing so makes our county a great place to live, work and visit." Mitch Nason, President Local 2598
About the Prince William County Labor Caucus
The Prince William County Labor Caucus unites the frontline public employees of SEIU Virginia 512, Prince William Professional Firefighters 2598, Prince William County Police Association 5010, and the Prince William Education Association, for a unified voice for good union jobs and quality public services for all working families in Prince William County
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