Municipal Services and Operations Workers Unite for Representation with Local 696
(LAWRENCE, Kan.) — Last week, workers for the City of Lawrence voted overwhelmingly, by a more than 4-1 margin, to join Teamsters Local 696 in Topeka, Kan. The 85-worker unit is employed by the City of Lawrence Municipal Services and Operations Department.
“We couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished with this election victory. As Teamsters, we will finally have a strong voice to address the issues that matter most to us,” said Dave Osborne, a utilities worker for the City of Lawrence. “We have already seen the power of the Teamsters for sanitation workers. It’s our turn to improve wages and working conditions. We are thrilled to have the power of the union behind us.”
In August 2020, sanitation workers employed by the City of Lawrence voted overwhelmingly, 65-1, to join Teamsters Local 696 in Topeka. In July, the 70-plus sanitation workers secured an excellent three-year agreement containing a modernized wage scale, substantial benefits, strong seniority language, grievance procedure, consistent work rules and other improvements to working conditions.
“After seeing sanitation workers organize and win the protections and benefits of a Teamster contract, we knew what we had to do. The decision wasn’t just for our future, but for the future of our great city. The turnover has been too high for too long, and we needed a union voice to bring us stability. Too many city workers were quitting because of the longstanding issues that needed to be addressed. Now that we are Teamsters, we are on our way to winning the respect and working conditions we deserve,” said Steve Demaranville, a worker for the City of Lawrence Municipal Services and Operations Department.
Demaranville and Osborne both said workers were seeking better wages, fairer work rules and improved benefits.
“These workers are on the front lines, and they deserve respect on the job. Now we will take our fight to the bargaining table to secure a strong Teamster contract that will address years of workplace concerns,” said Local 696 President Mike Scribner. “I applaud these workers for their commitment to form their union with the Teamsters, and we look forward to negotiating a strong contract that will bring them the respect, wages and benefits all city workers deserve.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.