On November 4th,the City of Chicopee UFCW Local 1459 public sector workers will standout at city hall in a push for hazard pay consideration after more than eighteen months of risking their health to keep the public sector running during the COVID pandemic. With most of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding still unallocated, essential public workers represented by UFCW Local 1459 deserve financial recognition for frontline work.
Local 1459 and the Chicopee city employees in Parks & Rec, City Hall, the Council on Aging, the Public Library, DPW and Water Department, will be standing out because our members worked through the pandemic and have, at this time, not received any COVID related hazard pay. In August, we submitted a request for use of the funds to provide essential workers COVID hazard pay. In September, the city established a planning committee and asked for town input. So far our input has gone unacknowledged and unanswered. The Mayor proposes to use some of the money to repair sewer and water infrastructure, which is expected to use two million of the thirty-eight million dollar amount. Other surrounding cities have already given out hazard pay for COVID related risks on the job. Chicopee city workers put themselves in harm’s way during this pandemic just like other surrounding city workers and should not be subject to sub-par treatment.
In October, Local 1459, city side employees and their supporters held a standout during the most recent City Council meeting. This month, while the City Council meeting is happening we will again be there standing out to support our essential city workers to demand they not be forgotten. We ask that city councilors urge the Mayor to do the right thing.
We were told by the City Council that they are aware of the situation and that we had their support. Stay tuned for further updates.