City of Lawrence sets date for Municipal Services and Operations employee union election

Utility Department worker Tress Potter waves a vehicle through the work zone on 15th Street near the intersection with Summit Street, as other workers repair a water main in preparation for a repaving job.

The union election for City of Lawrence utilities and public works employees will occur later this month.

The Lawrence City Commission approved a resolution setting a date for the election as part of its meeting Tuesday. As the Journal-World reported, Teamsters Local Union No. 696 announced last week that the union had recently filed a petition with the city to conduct an election for employees in the city’s Municipal Services and Operations Department.

More specifically, the employee group in question comprises streets, storm water, traffic, water field, wastewater field and plant operations employees. The MSO department was created in 2018 following the merger of the city’s utilities and public works departments. The petition to unionize was filed with the city clerk on Oct. 1, according to a city staff memo to the commission.

Pursuant to the city’s resolution governing unions, the commission established two dates for the election. The election will occur from 6 to 9 a.m. on Oct. 27 and from 6 to 9 a.m. on Oct. 28. The resolution allows for postponement of the election if a natural disaster or other emergency occurs that causes more than 10% of the employees to be absent from work on either date.

If the MSO employees agree to unionize, they will be the city’s fourth employee group represented by a union, joining police, fire and medical, and solid waste workers.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.