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April 29, 2011

3

Street laborers’ union refuses to endorse mayoral candidate

by Deena Winter

The union that represents laborers in the city’s street maintenance division has refused to endorse either of the two candidates running for mayor on Tuesday.

The union is called the Public Association of Government Employees, or PAGE, and represents about 500 blue-collar, clerical and technical workers. It also represents laborers who were the subject of our special report last week, detailing the bullying and infighting that have plagued the streets division for years.

PAGE union President Jeff Stump

PAGE President Jeff Stump said the union doesn’t think either of the mayoral candidates is qualified.

“We feel Tammy Buffington doesn’t have the experience and her views on the commission (CIR) and unions are not something that we agree with and as far as Mayor Beutler we can’t endorse him because of issues in the street department that he has failed to address after a year and a half.”

Those issues, he said, are bullying, harassment and inadequate training — all the things detailed in our special report.

The union also declined to endorse a candidate in District 1, northeast Lincoln. Stump said they didn’t endorse Democrat Doug Emery because “he’ not a qualified candidate” and after promising not to “come after our pension” Stump said the first thing Emery did after getting elected was start working on reducing city employees’ retirement benefits.

“The first thing he came after was our pensions,” Stump said.

The union endorsed the Democrats in two districts: Jonathan Cook in southwest Lincoln and Carl Eskridge in northwest Lincoln. The union did not endorse anyone in the southeast Lincoln district, where incumbent Jon Camp is running against newcomer Bobbi Kosmicki.

“We just don’t feel that we know enough about them,” he said.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jane H Kinsey
    Apr 29 2011

    Doug Emery also put out literature saying he is “not raising taxes”
    but he has voted to put the occupation tax to a vote, and he said in a panel interview at Gere Library that he would NOT promise to not raise
    raise property taxes. I guess he does not know where he stands on
    that issue.

    Reply
  2. porcupine
    Apr 29 2011

    You’ve been reporting on some pretty interesting issues this past week, although some of those who reponded to the articles written, specifically about the bullying issues within the city, were quite harsh. Seems like these problems have been festering for quite some time.
    I don’t blame PAGE union for not endorsing these candidates, nor do I think any union should. This is the exact reason why unions were formed…to have a voice to be heard on things such as work place safety, treatment of employees, equal oportunity for training, advancement and employment opportunities, and let’s not leave out…wages. I wish I knew which bowling league the city apparantly uses for hiring new workers. My kid could use a job!
    I have one question to our next mayor…how long SHOULD it take to address these obvious problems of their city workers? The Gulf War was won in 30 days, Lewis and Clarke discovered a route to the west coast in a couple of years (and they didn’t even have GPS’s and computers), and it only took NASA only about 8 yrs to put man on the moon. So, mayor, how long should it take to make things right for your workers?

    Reply
    • Harrison
      Apr 29 2011

      Uh that would be the JMM League on Thursday nights at Sun Valley Lanes. You will need a five man team and the cost is around $13 a week.

      Reply

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