TAKOMA PARK, MD – Amidst a battle over wage increases that has turned unusually contentious for this progressive municipality, the Takoma Park City Council hopes to repair its frayed relationship with the city employees’ union using healing crystals.
“It’s unfortunate that negotiations have taken a sour turn, but we hope that union members will accept and use this gift card to Mahalo Minerals,” said council members in a joint statement. “If they’re still holding feelings of anger, frustration, or stress, we recommend three Peridots, an Amethyst, and two Howlite stones.”
The rift took place during negotiations with AFSCME Local 3399, a municipal workers union representing 80 city employees. The union has asked for a 5.4% across-the-board raise to better keep up with inflation instead of the 1.8% cost of living increase they received. Even though the issue is being mediated, city officials have found themselves in the hot seat after union leaders decided to go public with their grievances.
“Obviously we support higher wages, but we also don’t have $270,000 in our salary budget for a higher than expected wage increase,” said one city council member. “Fortunately, though, our Citrine crystal acquisition account has a $300,000 surplus, and, with that kind of money, we can buy more oppurtunity for good fortune and get this relationship back on track.”