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City union members are neighbors, not ‘thugs’

October 8, 2011
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

After reading some previous articles about the current political climate in our city (Cape Coral), I would like to take this opportunity to expound upon some actual facts for the public's eyes and edification. I want to let the residents who classify city employees who choose to be union members in a Right to Work state as Union thugs know this opinion is completely opposite of who and what we are.

WE, the employees collectively suit up and show up daily to do a our jobs and complete the days work, day after day, year after year, decade after decade. None of the Union members who have ever sat at the negotiations table for all the employees covered under our collective bargaining agreements have ever done anything to be portrayed as a thug. All we did was work together with city management and councils to develop mutual agreements and create a contract.

This is how we city union rank and file have been thugs:

October 2009, pay freeze plus 32 hours of furlough

October 2010, pay freeze plus 32 hours furlough,

April 2011, 3 percent pay reduction 2% pension contribution increase

October 2011, pay freeze again.

All this as the average Cape employee salary is $40,000 in 2011. The total in give backs from the IUPAT Local Union 2301 rank & file has been 14.5 percent, something I doubt a thug would do!

The mayor and some on the current City Council have not been in our city for DECADES as those of us who remember what our starting salaries were then, below $6 and $7 an hour.

We are the opposite of thugs, we are part of the community. I know this because I've been here with these Union city employees coaching Little League, Youth Wrestling, Pop Warner Football & Cheerleading, Soccer and participating in almost every other Cape Coral community organization our city has to offer.

So, to those who wish to use this election cycle as a divide and conquer between Union and Taxpayer, understand that we Union employees are citizens and taxpayers too!

Not a thug,

Wally ILczyszyn

President General Employees

IUPAT / LU 2301



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