In this edition: Proposals from the City and Union
The Union provided the City with a complete economic package that addressed Vacation, Health Insurance, PERS, Drug Testing, and Wages. In an attempt to compromise, we agreed to some key concepts that the City was seeking regarding Health Insurance and Drug Testing. However, we insisted that they come with some protections. Additionally, we gave up some of the items we were seeking to reduce the overall cost of the proposal. Details provided below.
The City received our proposals, and then provided us a proposal that was almost identical to the “supposal” offered on June 8th. The City asked for the opportunity to review and cost our proposal next week, and return to bargaining on July 13th.
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The following is a summary of what we proposed.
The City proposed that we grant them the flexibility to grant selected new hires a greater rate of vacation accrual. The Union noticed that the City provides less vacation than other agencies and proposed language that would increase vacation accrual for new employees as follows:
Anniversary Equivalent Annual Vacation
Entry 80 hours
2 120 hours
5 140 hours
10 160 hours
15 180 hours
20 200 hours
The Union agreed to the City’s preventative health care requirement that would require employees to have a preventative health care exam in order to maintain the 95%-5% health insurance premium split. The requirement is on the employee ONLY, and not the family members the employee covers with health insurance. Although we agreed to the concept, we insisted upon language that would protect employees’ private medical information, and require the City to provide notice to employees prior to increasing their health care contributions.
The City has proposed testing for alcohol and drugs for reasonable suspicion. The Union is reluctantly willing to entertain the idea in exchange for some of our proposals, provided we can come to agreement on some key protections for employees. First, the testing must only be for intoxication on the job, not on the employee’s free time. Second, the Union language specifically acknowledges that urine testing for marijuana does not provide proof of employee intoxication. Third, the City must have two managers verify any suspicious behavior – one is not enough. Finally, the drug testing policy must be included in the contract. The language pertaining to this can be found under Article 22 – Safety, in our proposal.
PERS Pick Up
The City has rejected our proposal to sell the PERS pick up. We have counter proposed “trigger” language, that will convert the 6% pick up to wages, should the legislature ban employer contributions to the employee’s IAP. The language is under Article 27 – Wage Scales, in our proposal.
The Union is proposing the annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a floor of 2% and a ceiling of 4%. Our proposal is that the 2.2% increase for the 2017 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) be retroactive to July 1. The City continues to propose that the COLA become effective when bargaining finally is finished.
In addition to the above annual increases, we are proposing that any employee not receiving a selective increase based on market information in 2017, receive a 2% increase. Employees receiving selective market increases will be receiving increases greater than 2% (please see our proposal for details).
In 2018 and 2019, we proposed that all employees receive a 2% increase above and beyond the COLA.
Both the City’s and Union’s proposals convert the premiums listed in Schedule A of the Contract to percentages rather than specific cash amounts. However, the Union is proposing a premium for certifications demonstrating proficiency with certain software packages, and a language differential.