Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Denver election victory puts Teamsters back to work

Denver Teamsters were rewarded for supporting a ballot measure on Nov. 6 that lifted a local spending cap. Because the measure passed, nearly 1,000 Teamster city workers will have five unpaid furlough days restored.

The ballot measure, 2A, frees Denver from a state-mandated spending cap under the 1992 Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR.

Teamsters Local 17 played a huge role in the local election victory as part of the Yes on 2A coalition.

Local 17 Secretary-Treasurer Mike Simeone told us the support from the International's DRIVE political action committee was crucial:
We couldn’t have done it without DRIVE. With the help of Joint Council 3 and DRIVE, we were one of the largest contributors to the Yes on 2A effort. Now we have a big seat at the table with the city to represent our members.
This electoral victory by Local 17 shows why it's so important for union members to get involved in politics at all levels of government.

And the benefits of 2A will also be felt well beyond the ranks of Local 17. According to the Denver Post,
Denver has struggled the past several years with an out-of-balance ledger, forcing cuts, furloughs and service reductions. The city has had to slice $540 million over the past five years because expenses exceed revenues from sales and property taxes.

The extra $68 million that the city will be allowed to keep will go to hire 100 more police officers and firefighters, repave 300 lane miles of roads and restore library hours that had been reduced as a cost-cutting move.
Measure 2A will also allow Denver to replace 1,000 public service vehicles, provide $7 million for child services and $1 million in property tax credits for low-income senior citizens.

As Local 17 posted on Facebook,
Now all City employees can join Teamsters Local 17 and say in a loud voice, IT PAYS TO BE UNION AND IT IS THE TEAMSTERS, WE BELIEVE, THAT MAKE OUR WORKPLACE BETTER!
Way to go, brothers and sisters!