St. Petersburg white-collar workers unionize
In the midst of a contentious labor negotiation between the city's union members and Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration, a new group of white-collar workers has decided to join their ranks.
About 240 white-collar workers, in city departments like information technology and engineering, voted 73-70 Tuesday to organize with the Florida Public Services Union, which already represents many of the city's workers.
In March, Kriseman gave an unbudgeted 2.5 percent raise to non-union employees in the midst of the union drive. That move drew the ire of the union, but administration officials said it was just overdue compensation, not an attempt to undermine the campaign.
Tuesday's vote will become official in 15 days. Rick Smith, the union's chief of staff, said he planned to meet with city officials soon after to negotiate a "non-traditional, innovative" contract for his newest bargaining group.
Kriseman's spokesman Ben Kirby said the administration would reserve comment until the election was verified by a state labor relations board.