A Mayor for every neighborhood
Q. In the past the Council aborted the collective bargaining process by annulling
pay raises and imposing wage settlements without going back to the parties involved, would
you support this type of unilateral action?
"As Mayor, I certainly could not unilaterally abort the collective bargaining
process by annulling pay raises and imposing wage settlements without going back to the
parties involved. Under my administration those who negotiate labor agreements for the
government will fully understand the range of authority and level of funding available for
potential labor agreements.
Q. As Mayor do you subscribe to the concept of Labor-Management Councils as a viable
process for resolving difficulties in the workplace and is there a role for this process
in the government of the District of Columbia?
"I view Labor-Management Councils as partnerships that are key to transforming
District government agencies into effective service delivery operations. We need to move
away from the antiquated autocratic management structure that has for years micro-managed
the work of District employees. Workers at all levels of government must be given the
tools of their trade to work efficiently. Businesses and government have successfully used
Labor-Management Councils to build teamwork, foster creativity and help to resolve
difficulties in the work place. I will encourage all District government agencies to
establish Labor-Management Council's within the Chavous administration."
Q. Would you work for full funding of all negotiated collective bargaining
"Those representing the District at collective bargaining negotiations must know
the range of funding that exists for potential collective bargaining agreements. If the
negotiators exceed these levels, I, as Mayor, would not sign the proposed agreement until
I was certain that funding for the contract had been identified.
Q. As Mayor what is your position on legislation to combine the Worker's
Compensation plan (private sector) and the Disability Income plan (D.C. government) and to
change the manner in which they operate including the benefit level. Do you support this
direction and approach when in the past parties involved (labor and management) worked
out a compromise.
My first goal would be to examine the operations of the District plan to assure that it
is operating in a cost-efficient manner. Savings generated through reductions in operating
costs could then be directed to increasing benefit levels. As to the merger of the private
sector and District government program I would support such a merger if guarantees were in
place that the merger would result in streamlining operating costs with no reduction in
benefit levels for either group of employees.
Q. As Mayor do you subscribe to the business community's position that Workers'
Compensation and Unemployment Compensation benefit levels are the real reasons that
businesses may not locate in the District of Columbia? Do you view them as a disincentive
for businesses to remain in the District?
It is my opinion that Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Compensation benefit
levels are a factor but certainly not the "real" or only reason that businesses
may not locate in the District. Other factors include high rental rates, parking
difficulties, urban density and rush hour commutes.
Q. Congress has changed D.C's Reduction-in-Force rules to make seniority
count for little if anything. Do you agree with these changes? If not, what would you
The District has experienced a severe brain drain through past Reduction-in-Force
policies. I feel that we must encourage experienced employees to remain in the government
through a system of rewards that reflect performance of assigned duties and time spent on
the District's workforce.
Q. Post 1987 D.C. employees have a totally inadequate retirement program. What
would you do to change it?
Recently, I have received a number of calls from post 1987 employees complaining about
difficulties that they have had in receiving retirement benefit statements from the new
defined benefits plan provider. I have also heard that employees are having great
difficulty contacting the provider. I intend to meet with Councilmember Patterson to bring
these issues to her attention and request that her Committee conduct an investigative
hearing. I also would support expanding retirement options to allow employees a greater
selection in retirement programs.
Q. Please explain your position or views on D. C. government downsizing (both
personnel and services); re-engineering; contracting out of service which have been
performed by the D.C. government employees; and privatizing.
Downsizing & Re-engineering: Never again should the District government
downsize based on achieving an arbitrary FTE position ceiling. Reforming the District
government requires that workers and their unions be viewed as valuable resources whose
recommendations can help set the foundation for excellence in government. I support
establishment of performance measures and a system of rewards for Labor Management teams
who are able to streamline operations, increase productivity and reduce operating costs.
Contracting out/Privatization: For years I have been hearing the Control Board
discuss their desire to promote managed competition, yet to date, I have not seen one
contract issued by the Control Board or by the Government that has allowed District
employee to bid on government contracts. I have seen examples of our work force performing
work that later resulted in a contractor charging more than the cost of the prior in-
house government employee service. (The most recent bids for the recycling contract are a
case in point.) As far as I'm concerned, it is time for the government to step to the
plate, level the playing field, and allow District workers to bid on contracts and
privatization proposals. I am certain that we will see our workers winning many of the
Over the past three years, many studies of District government operations have been
completed by a number of private consultants paid with public funds by the Control Board.
One of the best reports that I have read was titled "Service Excellence: A Union
Vision for the District of Columbia". The American Federation of Government
Employees, AFL-CIO, presented this report to the District, at no cost to District
taxpayers. As Mayor, I intend to implement many of the recommendations outlined in
Q. Would you support legislation which would bar any tax breaks, licenses,
abatements, zoning variances or any other governmental forgiveness to any D. C. employer
who has violated any labor, occupational safety and health, or other federal or D. C. Law?
As a member of the Council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment, I voted in
favor of the Clean Hands Legislation that denies the issuance of licenses and permits to
any business or individual who fails to pay solid waste or litter violations. I certainly
would be interested in meeting with your leadership to discuss expanding this concept to
those who have violated labor, occupational safety and health laws.