Teamsters city contract, a ‘tough pill to swallow’

After months of negotiations and mediation, the city signed a collective bargaining agreement with it’s Teamsters employees.

The new contract, which retroactively goes into effect eight months ago and will run through Dec. 31, 2013 and is largely favorable to the city. The Teamsters, for example, will get no cost of living adjustments (COLA) and will have to pay significantly more for dependents to be covered on their health insurance plans.

“I think the no COLA and getting them to pay more on their dependents’ premiums was huge,” said Human Resources Director Charlotte Delmore.

The Teamsters, of course, weren’t quite as thrilled.

“I’m not at all happy with the agreement for our members and would have very much liked for the end result to have been better,” said John Witt, the Teamsters chief negotiator and secretary-treasurer for Local 589. “But, we are in a recession and statewide, the public sector is really taking a beating.”

Witt, though, said that there is room for hope as new negotiations begin for 2014 right away.

About a third of the city’s 320 employees are Teamsters.

Under the new contract, Teamsters employees’ cost for dependents’ health care will go from a 10 percent contribution to 15 percent this year and will eventually increase to 20 percent. In addition part-time employees will have a pro-rated benefits package.

In addition, the Teamsters’ tool allowance will go from $475 to $525 and the stipend for employees that don’t take health care will go from $150 to $250.

“None of us were real happy and it was a tough pill to swallow,” Witt said.


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