Flint, MI – For the first time in over a decade, the City of Flint has a contract with its two largest unions, signed by Mayor Sheldon Neeley. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Locals 1600 and 1799 are celebrating a big win for workers.
“I’m proud to be able to support hardworking women and men, prioritizing their needs so they can focus on the needs of our community,” Mayor Neeley said.
Sam Muma, President of AFSCME Local 1600, expressed support for a fair contract. “It’s the first time in a decade that both parties have a fair and honorable contract,” Muma said. “We were devastated prior to Sheldon Neeley being the mayor. The Emergency Manager shattered us, and the workers lost a lot. The mayor was telling me for two years that he had plans in the works to fix our pension system and he delivered on that as well, so those are two big items. These are very good steps for the City of Flint and the workers. It was a very fair contract—that’s what makes it historic.”
In November 2011, former governor Rick Snyder declared a financial crisis and appointed an emergency manager for the City of Flint. The emergency manager ordered an imposed contract with the unions. Although “home rule” was restored in 2015, the imposed contract remained in effect until June 30, 2016. Since that time, city workers have been waiting for their opportunity to come to the table and negotiate with the administration.
“We’re excited that we have a contract and that we’re moving forward,” President of AFSCME Local 1799 Don Lewis said.
“We haven’t had a contract with previous administrations,” he added.