Nov 28, 2023 - News

Rocky start to Richmond's first union negotiations

Illustration of Richmond City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The city's first negotiations with its newly unionized employees are off to a rocky start.

What's happening: SEIU Virginia 512 blasted city officials Tuesday for "throwing up endless delays and roadblocks."

  • The union represents city staff in social services, parks and recreation and an array of other departments.

What they're saying: The union's president, LaNoral Thomas, told Axios that the city was slow to come to the bargaining table this summer and since then has been largely unresponsive to their proposals.

  • "We have presented a full contract to them and really have just been waiting for them to give responses or counterproposals to our contract," she said.

Of note: Under the city ordinance that granted employees collective bargaining rights last year, negotiations should be complete by Dec. 1 — Friday.

  • The city is represented in the talks by a designee of Mayor Stoney.

The other side: A city spokeswoman, Petula Burks, called the claims false, noting negotiators spent 13 hours in mediation on Monday.

  • "We will continue in the spirit of fair and equitable negotiations with the desire of reaching an agreement that works for our employees and our residents," she said.

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