Dispatchers employed by the Town of Winchester have a new three-year contract that includes raises of 9.5 percent. The members of Sub-local 33 of UE Local 222 also improved shift differentials by 10 cents per hour, to 45 cents for second shift and 50 cents for third shift. The pay increases are three percent the first year (retroactive to July 1), 3.25 percent the second year, and 3.25 the third year. The local also won an increase in the uniform allowance, negotiated a health and safety committee, and added the position and pay rate of animal control officer to the contract.
UE members took their case for a fair contract to a Town Council meeting on October 15, where a statement detailing the important work they do and the need for a substantial wage increase was read into the records. Both member of the council and citizens then spoke in support of the dispatchers, who were given a round of applause for the work they do. In the days following the council meeting, Sublocal President Sue Ann Ryan heard from a number of townspeople who told her, “We never realized you people do all that.” The dispatchers answer 911 calls and dispatch fire, ambulance and police.
The bargaining committee consisted of Sue Ann Ryan and Georgi Andrews, assisted by UE Field Organizer Omar el-Malah.