Union members attend meeting

Photo by: Avery Cropp
Union members and supporters of AFSCME held a presence at Tuesday night’s Stillwater City Council meeting.

Members and supporters of AFSCME, the union representing a group of city employees still in contract talks with the city, made their presence felt at Tuesday’s Stillwater City Council meeting by lining the sidewalks and entrance outside City Hall.

This group, whose contract with the city expired in 2011, held an October strike training session at the Stillwater Public Library. AFSCME spokeswoman Jennifer Munt said the group decided at that late October meeting to push for more negotiation dates, and had no immediate plans for a strike.

Those negotiation dates are set up now, according to union representative John Ewaldt who was at City Hall Tuesday.

“What we’re doing here tonight is that one of our members is a speaker at the meeting this evening. He’s going to remind them what important services we provide the city,” Ewaldt said. “Whether it’s plowing streets, paying bills or enforcing parking and pet ordinances, we directly impact the public and we want to make sure the public is provided those important public services. “

Ewaldt added that the union would not negotiate in the media and are planning on continuing good faith talks with the city.

Other council actions Tuesday included:

  • Tabling modifications to TIF District 4 until December 2013, when the district expiration date approaches. Modifying the TIF district allows tax money captured in the district to be used throughout the city.
  • Agreeing to a 50/50 cost split with Independent School District 834 on Granicus, a web-streaming technology designed to make government meetings more transparent. Annual cost to the city is $5,656.60.
  • Noted that the Readex festival survey results would be presented to the council in mid-January.