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More Than 30 Virginia Local Elected Officials Announce Support for Collective Bargaining for All Public Employees

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From the labor coalition, “Stronger Communities. A Better Bargain”

More Than 30 Virginia Local Elected Officials Announce Support for Collective Bargaining for All Public Employees

RICHMOND, Va. — More than 30 local elected officials across Virginia have signed a statement expressing their support for giving all of Virginia’s public sector workers the freedom to collectively bargain.Today’s announcement follows Fairfax School Board’s unanimous vote to support collective bargaining, a 6-2 vote by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to support collective bargaining, and a decision by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to support collective bargaining.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney called for legislators to pass Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s bill to give public sector workers the freedom to collective bargain. Mayor Stoney wrote, “Our teachers, nurses, firefighters and law enforcement officers should have the freedom to form a union and bargain collectively for things such as fair pay, adequate staffing and safe working conditions. A strong public sector has always been one of the most important pathways to the middle class, and strengthening our public sector strengthens our entire community.”

“We are ecstatic to see so many local elected officials declare their support for giving our public service workers the freedom to collectively bargain,” said Doris Crouse-Mays, president of Virginia AFL-CIO. “As we watch this list continue to grow, we have increasing confidence that the hundreds of thousands of state and local public service workers in Virginia will not be left out in the cold.”

Julius Reynolds, a juvenile probation officer in Loudoun County and member of SEIU Virginia 512, explained why probation officers need collective bargaining. He said, “A high turnover rate makes it hard to carry out services for the juveniles that we serve. Most of us are forced to carry ungodly caseloads as we work with families on decisions that will impact them for the rest of their lives. If we had a voice on the job through collective bargaining, we could improve retention rates and better help families throughout Loudoun County.”

The following list is not exhaustive of all officials who support collective bargaining, but rather a reflection of those who have signed on to this statement of enthusiastic support.

Albemarle County
Donna Price, Board of Supervisors
David Oberg, School Board Member
Judy Le, School Board Member
Ellen Moore Osborne, School Board Member

Alexandria
Michelle Rief, School Board Member

Arlington
Katie Cristol, County Board
Matt de Ferranti, County Board

Buckingham County
Joe Chambers, Board of Supervisors

Charlottesville
Jennifer McKeever, School Board
Lashundra Bryson Morsberger, School Board

Fairfax County
Jeffrey C. McKay, Chairman, Board of Supervisors
Walter Alcorn, Board of Supervisors
Dalia Palchik, Board of Supervisors
Daniel G. Storck, Board of Supervisors
James R. Walkinshaw, Board of Supervisors
Penelope A. Gross, Board of Supervisors
John Foust, Board of Supervisors
Kathy L. Smith, Board of Supervisors
Rodney Lusk, Board of Supervisors
Rachna Sizemore Heizer, School Board
Karl Frisch, School Board
Abrar Omeish, School Board
Laura Jane Cohen, School Board

Loudoun County
Phyllis Randall, Chair
Juli Briskman, Board of Supervisors
Mike Turner, Board of Supervisors

Nelson County
Ernest Reed, Board of Supervisors

Norfolk
Tanya Bhasin, School Board Member

Prince William County
Ann B. Wheeler, Chair
Kenny Boddye, Board of Supervisors
Margaret Angela Franklin, Board of Supervisors

Richmond
Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond
J. Scott Barlow, School Board Member
Kenya Gibson, School Board Member

Suffolk
Judith Brooks-Buck, School Board Member

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Authorized by “Stronger Communities. A Better Bargain”, a coalition comprising Virginia AFL-CIO; The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); The American Federation of Teachers (AFT); The Communications Workers of America (CWA); Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Virginia Education Association (VEA); The Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF) and The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.