In the tentative contract between the city and Local 233 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ Council 4, which Mayor Art Ward and union representatives signed on August 2, the union appears to have made significant concessions.
In terms of wages, union members agreed to a 1.5 wage hike backdated to July 1 and to a 1.8 percent increase next July.
That comes after accepting a pay freeze a year ago.
In addition, the union agreed that anyone hired after the contract takes effect will receive only 5 years of post-employment health care for themselves and a spouse instead of the 10 years that existing employees will get.
They'll also be able to accumulate only 175 sick days before retirement instead of the 200 now allowed. The city shells out for unused time at the end of someone's employment -- payments that swell pension checks.
In addition, union members will see a hike in the percentage of their health care premium that they must cover. Instead of paying 5 percent, as it is now, they’ll pay 6 percent this year and 7.5 percent next year.
That’s still much less than firefighters, however, who are now paying 9.75 percent following an arbitration ruling that generally favored the city.
Union members assigned to work second and third shifts will get less money after the contract takes effect. Instead of receiving a 12 percent shift differential payment, they’ll get 6 percent more for working early or late shifts.
If I get a chance later, I’ll scan the paperwork so that all of the terms are available.
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