As the year 2021 marches on, labor unions across the United States have been busy negotiating new collective bargaining agreements with employers. One of the most important agreements is the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement for 2021.
AFSCME, or American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, represents over 1.4 million public service workers across the country. These workers include nurses, teachers, social workers, sanitation workers, and more, who are employed by state and local governments, as well as in the private sector.
The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by AFSCME sets the terms and conditions of employment for these workers, including wages, benefits, working hours, and job security. The agreement is signed between the union and the employer and is legally binding.
The 2021 version of the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement is particularly significant because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has had a significant impact on public service workers, who have been on the front lines of the crisis, providing essential services to communities. The new agreement reflects the current reality and provides important protections and benefits to workers.
Some of the key provisions of the 2021 AFSCME collective bargaining agreement include:
1. Hazard pay: Workers who perform essential duties during the pandemic will receive hazard pay as compensation for the increased risk of exposure.
2. Paid sick leave: Workers who contract COVID-19 or are required to quarantine will receive paid sick leave.
3. Job security: The agreement includes provisions for job security that protect workers from layoffs and furloughs.
4. Wages: The agreement provides for wage increases for workers, with the exact amount varying by location and job classification.
5. Health insurance: The agreement includes provisions for health insurance, including coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
6. Retirement benefits: The agreement also includes provisions for retirement benefits, including pension plans and 401(k) plans.
In addition to these provisions, the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement also includes language around workplace safety, anti-discrimination policies, and employee grievances.
Overall, the 2021 AFSCME collective bargaining agreement is an important milestone for public service workers, particularly in light of the ongoing pandemic. It provides much-needed protections and benefits to workers who are essential to our communities. As negotiations continue throughout the year, it will be interesting to see how other labor unions negotiate their own collective bargaining agreements in the current economic and health climate.