Monroe County Central Emergency Dispatch Center workers vote to unionize

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JANUARY 17: Monroe County Central Emergency Dispatch Center workers present a notice of intent to unionize to the City of Bloomington, on January 17, 2023, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Monroe County Central Emergency Dispatch Center, who are employed by the City of Bloomington, voted 17-0 to unionize, according to dispatcher Jeff Borders.

Four emergency dispatchers met outside City Hall Tuesday morning to present the Mission Statement, with all 17 signatures, to the Mayor of Bloomington, and the Bloomington City Council. A representative from the mayor’s office met with the workers, and although no members of the City Council were at City Hall, the Notice of Intent to unionize was left for council members.

The workers are asking the City to voluntarily recognize their Communications Workers of America (CWA) local, and bargain with them to improve working conditions.

Here is the full text of the statement of intent to unionize that was presented to the mayor:

“Mission Statement
For the purpose of improving the workplace and culture of the Monroe County Central Emergency Dispatch Center, the vast majority of Telecommunicators have committed to form a union.
9-1-1 Dispatchers work diligently behind the scenes every day to support the efforts of our on-scene responders and ensure the safety and security of the people of Monroe County.
We are proud of the work we do and take joy in the help we provide; however, change is necessary for the well-being of dispatchers and the aims of our organization.
Our collective goals include: recognition from the city as first responders; increased fairness and diversity in the Dispatch Center; a more robust pay scale; reliable and consistent scheduling; and an avenue for feedback and negotiation with the City of Bloomington.
We hold that improvement in these areas will increase longevity, decrease worker burnout, and attract new talent to the Dispatch Center. A happy, healthy, and fully staffed Dispatch Center is a benefit to all of Bloomington’s residents and visitors.
We believe that each of these goals is in line with the values of our employer. With this in mind, we are hopeful in asking the Bloomington Police Department and the City of Bloomington to recognize our union, a part of the Communication Workers of America, and negotiate with us in good faith.”

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