Below is union president, Helene O’Brien’s statement to the Metro Council:
Hi. My name is Helene O’Brien. I am the president of SEIU Local 21 LA. We represent employees of DPW, Head Start, Juvenile Services, the City Constables, the City Community Centers, Community Development, Mosquito and Rodent Control, to name a few. And I am here today to ask the Metro Council to approve this contract.
This contract is a simple renewal, with no additional costs to the city-parish. But it is a product of good faith negotiations between the Administration and its employees. We’ve made modest changes to the previous contract. The most important of which is to ensure access to training opportunities for all employees. This expanded training access is essential, especially now as DPW re-organizes and upgrades its technology. It is good policy to develop your workforce, especially the dedicated and committed workforce of East Baton Rouge City-Parish.
The only other changes to the contract are measures that ensure better communication and cooperation among the workforce and management, which, again, is essential in a time of great change.
Finally, the members of SEIU Local 21 LA, your City-Parish employees want to thank the Metro Council for its support and the Mayor for recognizing that when we disagree, and you all know that that happens now and again, that when we disagree, it is a family disagreement. And that our members, your city-parish employees, are committed to serving the public with the highest quality and to make you proud.