I am a supporter of unions. I’m old enough to remember when the unions were the only hope for safe working conditions, decent pay, and health benefits. I remember reading about the pitch union/management battles, the strikes, the suffering. Even today I seek out union shop retailers to patronize.
Therefore, I should be excited that the Board of Supervisors will be voting to authorize County staff to unionize at their December 7, 2021 meeting, but somehow I’m not convinced. I have not heard from either the County Supervisors or the future unions what are the reasons to organize.
What are the inequities our County Staff is suffering? What are the abusive working conditions to be remedied? What are the complaints about pay that need to be addressed?
My understanding is that the Staff compensation package is extremely generous, as it should be, with a 37 and a half hour work week. a great health plan, generous vacations and excellent retirement, paid holidays and a fair process used in hiring and letting go employees. When I look at the salary scale in vacancy notices it is on the upper edge for the position. The County and the Schools have many eager candidates who wish to work in Loudoun.
My particular concern is that once unionized the essential process of discharging staff who have not proven satisfactory for any number of reasons will become difficult, frustrating, and impact the overall Staff quality and harmony.
There may be excellent reasons to unionize County government, but if so, I have not heard them. I hope before the vote on December 7, 2021 the principals will make the justification clear.
Alfred P. Van Huyck