Gilbert employees stand united after Town Council’s undemocratic attempt to silence worker voices

In December the Gilbert, Arizona, Town Council voted to impose a supermajority vote of all workers to retain their rights to collectively “meet and confer” with management on workplace issues. It was an unreasonable bar for the Council to set – and an un-American one given that no politician would consider holding themselves the same standard.

During the past two weeks, Gilbert employees voted overwhelmingly in favor of participating in the meet and confer process that works to improve town services, with 87.8% of those who cast ballots voting to keep meet and confer.  Results show that 230 employees voted “Yes” and 32 voted “No.”  However, the supermajority vote demanded by Town Council, requiring at least 2/3rds of the employees to cast a ballot, was not met.  For perspective, the Town Council members were all elected by a simple majority of those who voted – in every case, by less than 10% of registered voters in the Town of Gilbert.

On Monday, February 6, results were announced and Gilbert employees were told that they would no longer be allowed to participate in meet and confer.

While workers valued the process of meet and confer, town employees say the vote doesn’t change the big picture. “Town employees remain committed to serving the public interest by holding management and the council to the highest standards of accountability,” said Chapter President Fernando Villalobos. “Employees are resolved to continue to advocate for the Town’s residents and for working families all over Arizona.”

Town of Gilbert employee Gabriel Soto added, “As a longtime resident, taxpayer, town employee and registered voter, I will continue to unite with my coworkers to have a voice at work that advocates for good public services and the well-being of all Arizona families.”

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