On January 14th, the day that the 150th Delaware General Assembly session began, a press release was circulated about legislative employees looking to form a union. WGMD released a statement from the Republican Caucus of both the House and Senate which said their staffs had only learned of the Unionization plan that day and there were still many questions that needed to be answered about the proposal.
Today, the staff of the Republican Senate caucus released a statement on the continued misinformation that has been spread by a few staffers in the Democratic caucuses.
Staff members from the Republican Senate caucus wish to address much misinformation that has been spread during the past two weeks by a small number of staffers within the two Democratic caucuses. As mentioned in the press release on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, there is a group of legislative employees who are actively pursuing the formation of the Delaware General Assembly Union.
The release stated: “…a majority of the Democratic, Republican and nonpartisan staff of the Delaware House of Representatives and state Senate announced their intent to unionize with AFSCME Council 81.” This is not true, in fact, Senate Minority staff were blindsided by that morning’s release. We had not been involved in any discussions to that point.
Two days after the release was issued, our caucus staff were assured that a follow-up statement correcting the record about our involvement would be distributed, however, at the time of this writing, a correction has not been issued.
On January 17, 2020, three days after the press release and one day after our initial meeting with organizers, the executive director of Delaware AFSCME 81 was mentioned in a Cape Gazette article promoting the false premise that Republican caucus staff members were involved in the organizing process.
We feel it is necessary to set the record straight. We are honored to serve in the capacity that we do, assisting the workload of the elected officials and the needs of the people of Delaware. Some of our staffers are very active members of their communities and their reputations have been tarnished in the eyes of some community members because of a lie.
As we are still gathering information, it would be unfair to take a firm position on this matter. We do feel compelled to release a statement reassuring the citizens of Delaware that we are not being mistreated as some callers to talk radio and commenters on social media inferred.
We do request, if the few organizers of the Delaware General Assembly Union are in fact serious about this endeavor, that we continue to be included in the discussions so that we can gather as much information as possible before coming to a decision on unionization. Moving forward, we are considering all actions to take to remedy the damage done to some of our staff members’ reputations, and to ensure that the process is done fairly and legally.