SWEET HOME — A month after the city and the union representing the
police department approved a new collective bargaining agree
Both Local 3337, which
represents City of Sweet Home general employees, and its sub-local that
represents the city's police department have new three-year contracts.
Agreement on the two pacts came about a month apart, with the police employees
signing off first.
Bargaining began in March.
Both units had contracts that expired June 30, and both new agreements are
retroactive to July 1.
Economic highlights are as
Employees will see a 2 percent cost-of-living
adjustment (COLA) increase retroactive to July 1, 2013;
A 2 percent COLA effective July 1, 2014;
A 1.5 percent COLA effective July 1, 2015; and
A 1.5 percent COLA effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Both units agreed to a lower-cost health plan
that will provide a premium savings of $188,121 to the city. In return,
the city has agreed to contribute $1,500 for single employees, or $3,000
for employee and family, toward Health Savings Accounts.
There were contract language
changes as well. For the union, contract negotiations were primarily directed
by former Council 75 Staff Representative Neil Bednarczyk, who retired in
mid-July. Staff rep Justin St. James filled in and completed the process; St.
James recently accepted a position as the staff attorney for the Vermont State
Employees Association and has moved to New England. A replacement for
Bednarczyk and his assignment, which includes the Sweet Home locals and is
staffed out of the Salem AFSCME office, is expected to be announced soon.
After several false starts, including at one point a one-year contract
extension that died because of a tie vote on the Klamath
After several false starts,
including at one point an attempted one-year contract extension that died
because of a tie vote on the Klamath Falls City Council, Local 2451 and the
city can finally celebrate a new two-year agreement.
The new contract covers
about 75 members, who work primarily in the city's public works, community
development, parks, airport and finance departments.
PERS was a big sticking
point. Under the new agreement, Local 2451 members will begin paying their 6
percent PERS pick-up. In return, the contract grants them a 6.5 percent salary
increase. Several city council members were adamant that employees needed to
return to paying the PERS pick-up.
"That extra 0.5 percent
offsets the cost of paying additional taxes on the increase," explains Council
75 Staff Representative Rodney McCambridge.
Other contract economic
Cost-of-living adjustments — In addition to the 6.5 percent PERS
pick-up offset dollars, workers will receive a 0.9 percent COLA in the
contract's first year, as well as an additional step (see below).
Employees will receive a COLA of between 0 and 3 percent in the second
year, based on the local Consumer Price Index.
Step system — Employees will move to a new step system based on a
classification and compensation study done three years ago, with each
worker initially being bumped up to the next highest step.
Health insurance — The union agreed to move from a 92/8
percent co-pay to a 90/10 plan.
"We had some rough times
during this process, but this is a deal both sides can live with," said Local
2451 President Joe McGonigle. "I really want to thank the members of our
bargaining team, they worked really hard for a long time."
In addition to McCambridge
and McGonigle, the Local 2451 Bargaining Team included Barbara Gibson, Larry
Hayes, Joe Hinton and Terry Sellars. Oregon AFSCME Research Coordinator Rob
Glase also participated on the team.
Page Last Updated: Sep 12, 2013 (11:34:00)
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