April 17, 2012
By Marc Bussanich, LaborPress City Reporter
On Monday, April 16, the approximately 2,300 members of CWA Local 1182 voted in an almost two to one margin to elect Robert Cassar their new president. Cassar was previously president of the local for eleven years. Now that he’ll be taking office in less than ten days, he said the union will focus on day-to-day representation first and foremost.
“The local has been negligent for the past six years in filing grievances on behalf of our members,” said Cassar. The membership is comprised of Traffic Enforcement Agents-1 (who enforce traffic and vehicle laws), TEAs-2 (who direct traffic) and Sanitation Enforcement Agents (who enforce recycling and public health rules).
According to Cassar, the union will need to work with management (the New York City Police Department) to relieve pressure off of TEAs-1, who are expected to issue as many as 40 traffic violations per day.
“I’m hoping we can resolve some issues with management, particularly the daily treatment of my members who management wants to mechanize by pressuring them to write summonses every hour, and if they don’t, they’re disciplined. This is ludicrous,” Cassar said.
Once he gets in to office, Cassar said he’ll visit the different offices where his members work and thank them for their support.
“This election is over. The members wanted change, which the vote count reflected. I will direct this organization to move along a course I think is best for this union.”
Because he feels that Local 1182 members lost confidence in their union, “I want to reassure my members that the new administration will do everything in its power to rebuild their trust,” noted Cassar.