AN OPEN LETTER LOUDOUN COUNTY EMPLOYEES
FROM LOUDOUN COUNTY CHAIR AT-LARGE, PHYLLIS J. RANDALL
On December 7, 2021, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted a collective bargaining ordinance allowing Loudoun County employees to enter into collective bargaining with County government. Many people worked for many years to make that vote a reality. However, I’d like to expand on what that vote for collective bargaining meant to me and what I hope it will mean for county employees today and forever.
Before becoming Loudoun’s Chair, I worked in a neighboring county and had regular interactions with employees from all Northern Virginia jurisdictions. My interactions with Loudoun employees were most often helpful, professional, and pleasant. Now as County Chair, I have confirmed what I always believed; Loudoun County’s workforce ranks among the most committed, professional staffs in the in the nation. The hard work you engage in on a daily basis inspires and humbles me, and you have my deepest appreciation. However, my gratitude alone is not sufficient. As your County Chair, I need to do all in my power to ensure you are paid what you’re worth and your working conditions are of the highest standard.
Loudoun County employees, I believe one of the most effective ways I can express my appreciation for the life-changing work you perform daily is to not only allow collective bargaining in Loudoun, but to let you know I have always fully supported the work and causes of unions. Of course, the historic, positive contributions of unions in our society is well documented. But I believe strongly unions are as important today as they ever were. Studies have shown counties where unions are strong, workers have a higher rate of pay, lower incidence of mental health and anxiety issues, more scheduling flexibility and better benefits. And that’s because unions are the collective voice of all employees.
Loudoun employees, what may be the most important thing I can tell you today is that a “super majority” on the Loudoun BOS voted in support of the union ordinance. In doing so we wanted employees to know all employees, regardless of their position, are free to join or not join a union. There will be no negative repercussions for whatever decision you choose. In fact, we literally put that in the ordinance. I know in the past you may have believed or even heard of possible repercussions if you joined the union, however let me assure you, I would (and I believe County Administration would) take very seriously any attempts to prevent you from joining the union.
In closing, let me once again thank each and every one of you for your dedication and service to our community. As a further show of our solidarity with our union brothers and sisters among my colleagues on the Board, several of my colleagues asked to append their signatures below to this letter.
As the Loudoun County Chair, my door is always open.
Phyllis J Randall
Koran Saines, Michael Turner, Juli Briskman, Sylvia R. Glass, Kristin C. Umstattd