LA Communal Employees Rally For Improved Contracts

from Jewish

Communal Workers Rally for Improved Labor Contracts

Disputes over three separate labor contracts prompted unionized social service workers from six of the largest Jewish aid agencies to come together to rally outside the Freda Mohr Multiservice Center of Jewish Family Service (JFS) on Fairfax Avenue on June 23.

Agency workers represented JFS on one contract; Jewish Vocational Services on a second contract; and Jewish Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) on the third contract.

… Though acknowledging the grim realities of the current economic crisis, many participating in the protest expressed anger that the recession negatively affects their paychecks but not the salaries of executives and those in managerial positions at their agencies.

… The JFS contract expired June 30. In the coming weeks, according to Julia Wells, vice president of AFSCME, Local 800, union members are expected to ratify the tentative agreement or go on strike. “It’s way more likely that we are going to have a tentative agreement,” Wells said.

The other two contracts have open-ended extensions..

With regard to the contract that includes The Jewish Federation, Federation president Jay Sanderson expressed some optimism. “We’re just beginning the process with the union, and we’re hopeful that we can come to an agreement that’s of best interest to the community,” Sanderson said. He acknowledged challenges in the process and timing, however, saying, “It’s very difficult to know. We can make proposals, but the union has to accept it. It is not uncommon for these negotiations to go on way too long.”