New Albany News

New Albany service employees join United Steelworkers union

New Albany service employees have joined the United Steelworkers of America union.

"They were certified by (the State Employment Relations Board) on Oct. 10," said Donnie Blatt, a staff representative of the United Steelworkers union.

Blatt said 14 service employees are eligible to be in the union. They voted to become part of the United Steelworkers, and that vote had to be certified by the SERB.

Blatt said the workers will be assigned to a local union, probably one that includes other city employees.

He said the union already has approached the city to schedule negotiations.

The city is budgeting $60,000 for contract negotiations in 2013.

The union's first attempt to organize in New Albany was in fall 2010, several months before the village became a city after the 2010 census certified its population exceeded 5,000 residents.

New Albany appealed to the state and the union was not allowed to organize because New Albany still was a village. Per state law, employees of villages cannot join public-employee unions.

-- Lori Wince