Developmental Center Workers Vote to Approve First Contract
Redfield- Workers at the South Dakota Developmental Center, on Friday (02/09/18), voted to unanimously approve their first contract with The State of South Dakota. The contract approval comes after nearly 1 year of negotiations between the State of South Dakota and the Redfield workers who voted 92-3 to Unionize in March of 2017.
“I am proud of the AFSCME workers at SDDC who put in so much effort during negotiations with the state of South Dakota. After agreement was reached with the state on the issues, the employees at SDDC unanimously voted to approve their first contract.” said Tim Hoss, Labor Representative for AFSCME Council 65 who helped lead the negotiations from the Workers side.
“A first contract for AFSCME workers at SDDC is a huge step forward to address the concerns of the workers. Safety has been the biggest issue, and by negotiating this contract, AFSCME members at SDDC now have a clear path to work with management to ensure staff and clients have a safer environment. AFSCME is proud to have the SDDC workers join us, and we look forward to healthcare workers across the great state of South Dakota reaching out to us & choosing AFSCME.” said Jo Musel-Parr, Organizing Director for AFSCME Council 65
SDDC has made headlines several times over the past 3 years over safety concerns at the facility. These concerns culminated in 2016 when the workers decided to launch a union organizing campaign. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation mandates that, in any public employee union election, a majority of ALL workers must vote “Yes” in order for a public worksite to officially unionize. In March 2017, SDDC workers overwhelmingly voted in favor of unionizing and formed The South Dakota Healthcare Workers Association, AFSCME Local 2589.
Now that the contract has been approved by the Workers, it goes to The State where it is to be approved and then signed by both parties.