Public Employee Press
Local 1549 goes
to work for 311 operators
Bargaining committee for 311 operators holds its first meeting.
Local 1549 won union representation rights in a decision by an impartial
In April 2003, Local 1549 petitioned the Board of Collective
Bargaining for the right to represent the new Call Center representatives
the 311 operators. In November, BCB ruled for the local, finding
a sufficient community of interest with persons who are already
members of the bargaining unit.
Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez quickly launched an action plan to
bring full union rights to the new members. Assistant Clerical Division
Director Ron Arnero and Grievance Rep PhyllisStreeter visited the Call
Center on Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan to welcome the new members aboard.
On Jan. 14, President Rodriguez spoke to the members who gathered to learn
more about their union. Were happy that you are now in our
union. You are the ones who move the city. We plan to address the many
issues that concern you.
Its a pleasure to represent them. Theyre a new agency,
and getting something fresh from the start lets us work with them
in pulling things together, said Ms. Streeter. To be in on
the birth of this is really something special. The 311 Center has
been functioning for a little over a year in the Dept. of Information,
Technology and Telecommunications. Operators answering the 311 hotline
have already handled roughly 33,000 more heat complaints this year than
We have our work cut out for us due to the many titles and the different
classifications at the center, Mr. Arnero pointed out. The division
and the local are geared up to address this issue and many others
including salaries, flextime, holiday and comp time, career advancement
and civil service testing.
The union is trying to get a bargaining date with the city to commence
negotiations, said DC 37 Director of Research and Negotiations Dennis
Sullivan. With our experience at 911, we are certain that we will
be able to represent them to their satisfaction, said Mr. Arnero.
The next stage involves forming a Local 1549 chapter and electing officers
for the 311 workers.