A resolution expressing the support of the Metropolitan Council for employees of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to pursue and maintain public union representation, and further urging the United States Supreme Court to uphold the integrity of public unions in deciding the matter of Janus v. AFSCME.
WHEREAS, it is the firm belief and conviction of the Metropolitan Council that all Nashvillians should have the means to thrive in safe and healthy communities; and
WHEREAS, working people of Nashville who truly make the city run ought to have good jobs that can support families; and
WHEREAS, according to the Economic Policy Institute, working people have become more productive over the past forty (40) years than ever before; yet at the same time, real wages are declining and CEO pay at major U.S. companies has risen more than ever before -- 347 times more than the average person, according to the AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch; and
WHEREAS, fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had marched and rallied in support of city sanitation workers who were on strike to demand their dignity, their humanity, and that their labor union be recognized; and
WHEREAS, the Memphis sanitation workers and Dr. King had carried signs proclaiming, “I AM A MAN” in their struggle for basic freedoms, including the freedom from discrimination, the freedom from degrading work conditions, and the freedom to assemble in strong unions to improve their place of work; and
WHEREAS, still today, people across the country and in our city struggle for those same basic freedoms and a high quality of life for their families; and
WHEREAS, being able to assemble together in unions provides people -- particularly women and people of color – with a powerful voice to speak up for themselves, their families, and their communities, and ensures they are treated with dignity and respect at work; and
WHEREAS, when people stick together in unions, they gain the power in numbers to raise wages and improve benefits, such as health care for workers and their families, and all of our communities; and
WHEREAS, people working collectively together in unions have achieved significant victories and benefits, including the 40-hour work week, overtime pay, and health and safety standards, as well as advanced policies especially important to women such as paid leave, earned sick time, and reducing the gender pay gap; and
WHEREAS, when people can negotiate collectively for strong contracts, higher wages, and safer, dignified working conditions, everyone benefits; communities are made stronger; and the entire economy is made more fair; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court is currently considering the case of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 which may decide whether those who work in the public service sector -- such as nurses, teachers and firefighters -- will be denied the freedom to assemble in strong unions that make our communities safe, more equitable, and strong; and
WHEREAS, an unfavorable decision in the Janus case would undermine the freedoms of millions of working people, especially women and communities of color to join together in strong public unions; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County provides services for all of its residents because of the hard work of employees who work in public service, providing health care, educating children, putting out fires, fixing potholes, picking up trash, and much more; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1: That the Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as expressing its support of the freedom of all public employees to exercise their rights to a voice and dignity on the job by joining together in strong public unions.
Section 2: That the Metropolitan Council hereby further goes on record as urging the United States Supreme Court to consider the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Memphis sanitation workers, as well as the public benefit created by workers organizing collectively, in rendering its decision in the matter of Janus v. AFSCME -- a decision which may have a monumental impact upon residents of Nashville and Davidson County.
Section 3. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Tanaka Vercher, Colby Sledge
Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee
IntroducedMarch 20, 2018
AdoptedMarch 20, 2018
Returned Unsigned by the MayorApril 4, 2018
Effective DateApril 4, 2018
Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.
Last Modified: 04/05/2018 3:13 PM