Local 21 officially welcomed our new Richmond Executive Management chapter at the May Delegate Assembly. The new addition will strengthen both Local 21 and the new members joining our union.
Proving the adage, “the boss is the best organizer,”the new Richmond Executive Management chapter unionized almost unanimously when the City of Richmond tried to balance the budget on executive managers’ backs by forcing them to take a 13% pay cut.
The City of Richmond targeted this group of professional employees because they were not unionized. Other groups of workers had unions like SEIU and Local 21 to represent them, but the City saw the executive managers as a group ripe for easy pay cuts. But the employees weren’t going to take it lying down.
A leader emerged from the situation; Tim Higares, a lifelong union member, and new Local 21 City of Richmond Chapter President, organized his fellow executive managers to join Local 21. Tim is the Director of Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations for the City of Richmond. Tim was a former president for the already established Local 21 Richmond Professional Employees and Managers chapter, and familiar with both the value of collective bargaining and with being member of Local 21.
He managed to get 98% of the Richmond Executive Management chapter to formally organize with Local 21. “This was a formidable challenge, as many of the executive managers were not familiar with the benefits of being a part of a union. I realized that without representation, we were vulnerable,” said Tim. He consistently reached out and educated them on the benefits of being part of a union.
The Richmond Chapter President was present at to see his chapter formally recognized by Local 21’s Delegate Assembly and welcomed into the union.
“We anticipate challenges as we enter collective bargaining with the City of Richmond, but now we can bargain with strength and confidence as the newest members of a great and strong union,” said Tim