Nov 14, 2014

Local R14-139 Benefits from Two Ratification Meetings, 7.3 Percent COLA

Local R14-139, located in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, held two ratification meetings on November 12, 2014. Both meetings gained overwhelming support and attracted over 150 members, making them the most widely attended meetings in over a decade. Local R14-139 is one of the larger bargaining units, comprised of roughly 850 food service employees. The event received immense support, in part, because of the leadership of local shop stewards.

NAGE National President, David J. Holway congratulated the local leadership. “Thank you to all of the Stewards, Robert Richards, Angelica Ichord, Austin Hendrix, Jerry Boore, Tyrone Edwards, Dawaine Morris for your tireless efforts, this was truly a team effort.”

Mr. Richards stated, “One of the biggest priorities we had going into these meetings was a fair cost of living adjustment (COLA). We managed to get a 7.3% COLA because we are a very well organized bargaining unit. Had we not had the support of so many members, we could have received much less.”

NAGE National Representative Gary Lawson also commented on the Local’s success. “Working with Locals that are well organized and comprised of informed members makes it much easier to get desirable results. Such is the case with R14-139 and I believe they set an example for other bargaining units around the country.”

Lee Blackmon, the trustee for the local, commented, “This agreement is significant because of members who exercised their right to a seat at the table when renegotiating their working conditions contract. I am proud of the members and the appointed stewards as they define perseverance.”

A 7.3% COLA is double the industry standard and is seen as a major victory for both R14-139 and NAGE. The COLA is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. R14-139 also has the ability to renegotiate 18 months after the contract goes into effect.

The agreement now needs to get approval from the Ft. Leonard Wood contracting office and then goes to the Department of Labor (DOL) for a wage determination. NAGE Federal Director Sarah Suszczyk says she is hopeful the DOL will approve the agreement in the coming weeks.

Local R14-139 has elections that are expected to be announced in the coming months. 

We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few; but we can't have both. - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
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