After collective bargaining with the city manager stalled, the police officers union asked The Border Organization (TBO) for help. Politicizing the issue of police pensions and wages, police union firefighters and TBO leaders targeted the City Council, meeting with individual members to line up the four votes they needed. On the day of the vote, police, firefighter, cafeteria worker and TBO congregational leaders piled into the chambers. After a two hour debate, the council unanimously voted to increase city retirement matches on police and firefighter pensions, maintain previously promised step increases, AND increase all city worker wages by 2%!
After house meetings unearthed stories of school cafeteria worker abuse, TBO leaders began researching. They learned that the district contracted with a new delivery company that only unloaded heavy boxes of food to the dock. To compensate, managers forced the workers to haul the hefty boxes to storage off the clock and after hours. Initially fearful of losing their jobs, cafeteria workers gained confidence as they engaged in action, eventually taking the issue straight to the superintendent and school board -- with police, fire fighter and TBO congregational support. Not only did working conditions improve, the cafeteria workers succeeded in raising their wage from $7.25 to $10.31 / hour.