Pasco County, Fla., employees have ratified their first contract, ushering in strong on-the-job representation for more than 1,100 public sector workers across the county. They are now fully represented by Local 79 in Tampa.
“We succeeded in winning a strong first contract for these hardworking public employees,” said Ken Wood, International Vice President and President of Local 79. “The battle took almost four years, but our negotiators knew that they had to bring the employees a contract that honored their job seniority, protected them against arbitrary discipline and included wage increases. That is just what they delivered.”
Pasco County employees are the newest county employees to be represented by Local 79, along with those in Hernando, Citrus and Collier counties.
Across the state, the Teamster locals in Joint Council 75 handle representation and contract enforcement for more than 20,000 public service employees, unsung heroes who keep the residents well-cared-for and protected. The one-year contract ratified by Pasco County employees covers workers as diverse as road and bridge workers to librarians.
“I’ve wanted my whole life to join a union,” said Ed Siedzik, a civil engineer. “It’s great that we finally have one and that it’s the Teamsters!”
“Organizing and contract bargaining are uniquely challenging in a right-to-work state such as Florida,” said Michael Filler, Director of the Public Services Division. “But the groundswell of enthusiasm for being Teamsters that the Pasco County public employees had enabled them to stay the course and arrive at a complete contract that the members passed by a strong majority.”