The American Federation of Government Employees denounced yesterday Mayor Marion Barry's proposed 5 percent pay raise and 2 percent bonus for about a fourth of D.C. city government workers as a "buy-out" and part of a strategy to weaken union organizing among civil servants here.
AFGE national vice president Donald MacIntyre said the union "strongly resents Mayor Barry's attempts to buy off some 9,000 unorganized city workers with his offer of 5 percent sweetened with a bonus 'carrot'."
Barry asked the City Council on Tuesday to approve the pay raise for 8,771 District employes, effective Oct. 1, plus the additional one-time bonus of 2 percent to be paid in December. The raise and bonus would go to all workers not covered by a collective-bargaining agreement. They would cost the city $10.2 million.
MacIntyre said the proposal is unfair because it would provide the larger increases for higher salaried positions instead of for "the people who do the work and run the city."
He said the proposal would not narrow the gap between city and federal workers. The former last year received raises of 5 percent while those in federal jobs got 9.1 percent. AFGE is challenging that in court, he said. Nor would it bring city workers within range of employes doing comparable work in private industry, MacIntyre added.
MacIntyre urged city workers to "hang in there" and hold out for salary increases of 15 percent, plus fringe benefits, for which AFGE is currently negotiating.
AFGE represents about 9,000 city government workers, the largest group that is organized, including segments in the departments of corrections, human services, environmental services and recreation.