Tentative Agreement Announced
From a press release from City Hall:
Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announces that the City has reached agreements on the final two union contracts, striking tentative one-year deals with 173 clerical, technical and maintenance workers that secure furloughs, the retroactive elimination of a 3 percent wage increase, and increased employee contributions to health care premiums.
The unions represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted Tuesday to approve the contracts, which could net the City more than $900,000 in savings for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Local 3162 and Local 3406 have agreed to four furlough days in FY 2011, a potential savings of $260,000. More significantly, the proposed contracts call for the retroactive elimination of a 3 percent wage increase for AFSCME employees that was supposed to go into effect in January 2010. This wage concession by the two unions would save the City about $285,000 in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, as well about $575,000 in FY 2011.
Under both agreements, AFSCME employees would pay 20 percent to their health care costs, up from 15 percent – a move that the City is proposing for its entire workforce for FY 2011. Applying the 80/20 split for all City employees would result in $386,000 in savings a year. However, the City would grant the AFSCME workers a six-month grace period before that conversion kicks in, a cost of $52,800.
The City Council must ratify the contracts. The proposed savings garnered from the four union contracts – for firefighters, police officers and the AFSCME workers – would save the City almost $2 million in FY 2011.
“We still have a ways to go to close the budget gap, but these agreements are very helpful,” Mayor Cohen said. “I am grateful to our AFSCME members for their willingness to give back and help the City weather this financial storm.”