Good news came to AFSCME Local 4041 this weekend.

The union representing 20,000 Nevada state employees agreed to a new contract last weekend after a half year of negotiations. The contract goes into effect on July 1, 2021 and has to be approved by the Nevada State Board of Examiners.

“After fighting for 20 years to get a voice on the job and a seat at the table, Nevada state employees have a contract that will improve working conditions and enable them to better provide the public services Silver State communities need to build back better,” stated AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “This contract gives Nevada state employees the respect they deserve.

“The next step must be for Congress to extend that same respect to all public service workers nationwide, empowering them with collective bargaining rights by passing the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act,” continued Saunders.

Local 4041 represents nurses, mental health counselors, mental health technicians, developmental technicians, custodial and maintenance workers, highway workers, correctional officers, and essential workers overall.

It’s AFSCME’s first ever contract with the state of Nevada.

The contract a includes a 3% wage increase in the second year of the contract for workers and reopens negotiations for a wage increase the first year, based on “better-than-expected” state revenue projections, including billions of dollars the state received from the federal government from the American Rescue Plan, a piece of legislation AFSCME members advocated for over the last year, which was passed and signed by President Joe Biden earlier this spring.

“Members of Local 4041 are incredibly proud of this first contract,” stated Harry Schiffman, an electrician at the University of Nevada and the president of Local 4041. “More than 20 years in the making, this contract lays a solid foundation to ensure a strong and secure future for state employees and the essential services we provide to our communities.

“When public service workers have a voice on the job, as we have exercised through collective bargaining, workers are better equipped to provide the services our communities need,” continued Schiffman. “As the largest union for Nevada state employees, AFSCME Local 4041 looks forward to a new chapter for state workers and the communities we serve.”