The city’s public works and water employees snagged a two-year contract this week that provides them a 4.7 percent pay hike over the course of the deal.
The pact, which is retroactive to last July, provides a 2.8 percent pay hike in the first year and 1.8 in th second year, applies to about 100 workers in Local 1338 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers’ Council 4.
For the first time, the employees will have to pay a portion of their health insurance premium as part of the agreement. They’re on the hook for 5 percent of the tab now.
City councilors unanimously endorsed the deal. The union itself split 2-1 in favor of signing the pact, officials said.
Mayor Art Ward said the pay hikes were already negotiated before the Wall Street collapse in the fall. Otherwise, he said, they may have been lower.
He credited the union with understanding the difficulties facing city budget makers trying to cope with sinking revenues and rising costs during a recession.
“They recognize the economic times,” Ward said.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne, who has voted against union deals in the past that he thought were too generous, endorsed this one despite some misgivings about the health care cost-sharing percentage.
He said Local 1338 “stepped up to the plate” in its dealings with the city.
The most recent contract before this was a three-year contract between the Board of Education and teachers that offers teachers a 1.9 percent salary hike in the first year following by 2.5 percent annual increases in the remaining two years of the pact.
Local 1464 members also agreed to pay more of the tab for their health insurance, rising to 14 percent of the overall cost in 2011.
But just before that, in December, city councilors approved a new two-year contract for the union that represents most City Hall workers that provided 3 percent annual raises and also introduced employee cost-sharing on health insurance for the first time.
The pact, which was retroactive to July 2007, required workers to pay 4 percent of their health insurance premiums until this summer, when they’ll be required to cover 5 percent of the tab.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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