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UPSEU Achieves Significant Wage Increase for New Member
Updated On: Jun 04, 2021
Nelson Cannon is the newest member of the Hamden Board of Education Supervisors bargaining unit in Connecticut. Mr. Cannon worked as a Junior Desktop Support Specialist, a non-union position, for a couple years and then approached UPSEU seeking to have his position included in the bargaining unit. The BOE did not object to UPSEU’s request and in September 2020 the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations process to modify the recognition clause was completed and Mr. Cannon signed his membership application that same day. Thereafter Kristen Sweet, UPSEU In-House Counsel/Labor Relations Representative, began negotiating with Human Resources to create a job description, as there was not one in existence, and to advocate for a wage increase for this new bargaining unit position.
For several reasons Mr. Cannon requested that the Union aim for a negotiated wage increase of about a $5000 per year. As his position was already established in the district a sizable increase would need compelling support, especially in a year marked with unanticipated significant additional employer costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Endeavoring to establish details to support the desired wage required many conversations with Mr. Cannon followed by an analysis of his current job duties and requirements as compared to existing job descriptions for other Information Technology positions in the bargaining unit.
A lengthy negotiation process led by UPSEU was marked with starts and stops outside the control of both the BOE and the union eventually led to results that Mr. Cannon found well worth the required patience. While the BOE put forth effort to show Mr. Cannon was fairly compensated, the Union was able to clearly demonstrate that was not the case. While Mr. Cannon may have started his employment performing duties that would align with a Junior Desktop Support Specialist position, his current abilities combined with the work he regularly performed aligned with that of the Desktop Support Specialist position. Thus, in March 2021 UPSEU and the BOE agreed Mr. Cannon would be promoted to be a Desktop Support Specialist, which included a wage increase of approximately $30,000 per year with both the promotion and wage increase retroactive to January 1, 2021
Upon receiving the news George Rostkowski, Unit President of the Hamden BOE Supervisors, wrote “Kristen, this is fantastic news. A job well done. Thank you so much for your persistence. Mr. Cannon – Congratulations! Thank you for your patience.” Mr. Cannon said he is very glad he became a UPSEU member and wrote “Thank you to Kristen for advocating for me in this salary negotiation. This is a much better outcome than I could have possibly hoped for. I really do appreciate all of the hard work that went into this.” Kristen Sweet said “I am really pleased with the outcome achieved here for Nelson. When members bring matters to our attention, UPSEU strives to support our members and bring about positive results. The result of the work done here was particularly rewarding for me.”