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With Unanimous Vote, Alexandria City Council Expands City Workers’ Rights

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Alexandria City Council (Zebra file photo)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-Earlier today, the Alexandria City Council passed a collective bargaining ordinance, expanding the rights of city workers.  The ordinance passed with a unanimous vote, 7-0. The ordinance is historic, in that it is the first the Commonwealth has seen in more than 40 years. It permits workers to bargain over a majority of work-related issues.

Adoption is planned prior to May 1.

Nelva Hernandez, a city employee who spoke in front of City Council, believes the changes set the tone for a respectful and supportive relationship between the city and its employees.

“When I first learned about the ordinance, I was disappointed that bargaining topics were limited to wages and benefits, because my commitment to my work is about so much more than just wages. My job is not just a paycheck, it’s a calling,” she said. “I am very pleased with all the hard work the council put into listening to us and adopting changes. The city respected our right to negotiate over real workplace issues that include safety and working conditions.”

A coalition of organizations representing employees, residents, and political leaders worked with City Council to improve the ordinance after it was first proposed in February.. As amended,  the ordinance closely aligns with the Federal Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, as well as collective bargaining ordinances that exist in the metro area.

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