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Union rep - City workers unhappy, morale low

August 28, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

About 35 to 40 city union employees attended Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council meeting and will continue to attend the monthly council meetings until they see solutions to unspecified "problems," a union representative said Tuesday.

The council needs to know that the employees are unhappy and things are not as rosy as the city might want people to think, James Bestpitch, who represents the police officers union and members of AFSCME 1540, said after the meeting.

"Morale is at an all-time low," Bestpitch said.

Mayor William M. Breichner later said if there is a morale problem it is partially because of miscommunication caused by Bestpitch during the current union negotiations with the city.

All four unionized groups of city employees are working without contracts.

Employees are noticing some of the same problems under the current council as under the prior council and they are concerned, Bestpitch said.

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"We are going to every public meeting until there is a solution seen for these problems," he told the council.

He said the actions weren't related to contract negotiations. The employees would like to see the city operate more efficiently, Bestpitch said.

Breichner and City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said they did not know how to respond unless Bestpitch tells them specifically what he is talking about.

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