Members of the union representing most state employees have filed an unfair labor practices complaint and plan to hold rallies protesting against Gov. Steve Sisolak’s “refusal to bargain” over changed working conditions and furloughs.
In a press release sent on Friday, representatives of AFSCME Local 4041 said they had filed the complaint with the state labor relations board, and planned to hold Saturday rallies at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City and in Las Vegas to protest non-involvement in dealing with the state’s COVID-19 related budget crisis.
Members of the union said that Sisolak has “not responded to numerous overtures from state employees and their union” regarding the Democratic governor’s plan to implement once-a-month furloughs for state workers to help deal with the anticipated $1.27 billion shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, or about 25 percent of the budget.
“We’re on the frontlines. We know where there are potential savings and ways to save services and jobs,” AFSCME Local 4041 president Harry Schiffman said in a statement. “The way the governor is acting is a disgrace to our state and a disservice to all Nevadans. He needs to come out of hiding and talk to us.”
AFSCME represents several categories of state employees granted the right to collectively bargain following passage of legislation in 2019 signed by Sisolak. The final version of the bill was amended to allow the governor to effectively ignore any negotiated salary demands when crafting the state budget.
AFSCME supported the governor’s 2018 campaign and contributed more than $3.7 million to a political action committee supporting Sisolak and attacking his Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt.