Workers Stage Silent Protest for Fair Contract

CAP Mentor Teachers stand up for fair pay raises and respect
CAP Mentor Teachers stand up for fair pay raises and respect

Workers at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties made a powerful, silent protest Thursday night, calling on management to negotiate fairly.

Clad in AFSCME green, workers including Head Start teachers, bus drivers and weatherization assistants carried signs that said, “Respect the workers – fairness for all” and “Support the workers – fair wages.” They formed a gauntlet on both sides of the hall so CAP board members had to pass by them. Then the workers lined up inside the meeting room to present a united and strong presence.

Dozens of CAP workers stand in silent protest as board members conduct routine business.
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Several board members, including Ramsey County Commissioners Jim McDonough and Blake Huffman, directly addressed workers during the meeting and thanked them for their hard work.

After years of minimal raises, workers are stuck in difficult negotiations with management over issues including wage increases, employees being pressured into taking work home and not getting paid overtime, schedule changes without adequate notice, and management not letting stewards come to investigations.

Management has brought in a high-powered labor relations expert, and had refused to share its written proposal with the AFSCME negotiating team until Thursday – one day before mediation was set to start.

AFSCME Local 8 represents about 225 employees at CAP.

Local 8 member Virginia Graham (left) and chief steward Gloria Price (right).
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