Membership Update July 8, 2020


In recent communications the management of RWA has called out our members, demanding that we forgo the wage increases we have earned and which are established in our contract. 

Let’s be clear: our members are on the frontlines performing vital work for our community every day. We enter homes and offices not knowing if the people we serve may be transmitting covid-19.  On a daily basis we interact with customers and contractors who are not wearing masks or observing basic safety protocols. We do this while lacking sufficient supplies of N-95 masks and hand sanitizer.  We do essential work which has the potential to sacrifice our health and lives.

RWA’s management talks about “shared sacrifice.”  While union members are asked to give up our hard-earned pay raises, we see management rewarding itself with a series of promotions, bonuses and pay increases.  In addition, we made one-sided sacrifices in our last contract, including a six-month delay on a pay raise and a two-tier system where new hires are paid less for a period of years.

For standing up for our collective bargaining agreement, management is now threatening us with reduced hours.  This comes at a time when the need for our services has never been greater.  Due to pandemic restrictions, more people are spending more time at home, driving up water usage.  Management’s decisions on how to deploy our work force have led to cutbacks and increased customer complaints, including reports of discolored water.

At a time when we should all be focused on the needs of our community, management is waging war on its own workforce. The union lives up to its contractual obligations and management should do the same.

We are committed to the RWA’s mission of providing the best possible service for our community, but we will not sacrifice our rights.  Management should be working with the union to scale up our collective efforts in support of our customers, not looking to inflict cuts in vital services.