AFSCME Public Works Agreement Approved 4-30-10

Posted by Bob on April 30, 2010 under Daily Blogs | Read the First Comment

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses unanimously approved an extension to the AFSCME Public Works collective bargaining agreement through June 30, 2012.  The Board voted seven (7) in favor and none opposed with two (2) abstentions due to potential conflict on two (2), related memorandums of agreement (“MOA”).  The first (1st) MOA (which can be viewed here), in addition to several other provisions as discussed below, is the last to solidify 2009-2010 wage freezes that were budgeted last year.

In addition, the major points of the extension are as follows:

WAGES

  • A zero (0%) percent increase for fiscal year 2009-2010;
  • A one and one half (1 1/2%) percent increase effective July 1, 2010; with an additional one and one half (1 1/2%) percent increase effective January 1, 2011; and
  • A one and one half (1 1/2%) percent increase effective July 1, 2011; with an additional one and one half (1 1/2%) percent increase effective January 1, 2012.

HEALTH INSURANCE

No changes to existing pricing and benefit structure.

PENSION

The Borough agreed to increase the pension benefits of existing bargaining members from the current multiplier of one and three quarters (1.75%) percent to two and one quarter (2.25%) percent in exchange for all new members of the bargaining unit entering a defined contribution pension plan similar to the private sector’s 401(k)-type structure.  The contribution to the existing pension plan from current employees shall increase from three (3%) percent to four (4%) percent beginning July 1, 2011, which will offset some of the increased, short-term costs.  The addendum to the pension plan can be viewed here.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Agreement by the bargaining unit to reorganize the department into the true public works model that we have been moving toward for the past year;
  • Agreement to remove the mandatory, second (2nd) rider from winter snow plow trucks.  This should begin to reduce winter overtime costs.  Future use of the second (2nd) rider will be at management discretion.
  • Agreement that Borough vehicles shall not be used for personal use without the consent of the mayor in consultation with the Director of Public Works.
  • Agreement to allow the Borough to begin use of automated trash hauling.

The second (2nd) MOA (which can be viewed here), which can be viewed here, resolved outstanding issues related to previous past practices that existed under the former structure of the different departments and memorialized the Borough’s ability to change insurance carriers provided equal to or better coverage is offered.

The most significant aspect of the extension is the change to a defined contribution pension plan for new hires to the department.  While the Borough will experience an increase in pension costs in the short term due to the increase in the existing multiplier, the long term benefits will achieve savings for future generations of Borough taxpayers.  AFSCME Public Works represents the fourth (4th) Borough bargaining unit to change to a defined contribution pension plan for new hires this fiscal year.  While obtaining wage freezes for the 2009-2010 fiscal year is certainly helpful given the current state of our economy, the long-term savings that will be obtained by switching to defined contribution pension plans will pale in comparison.

A fiscal analysis of the MOA can be viewed here.

I would like to thank the employees of AFSCME Public Works for reaching conclusion on both MOA’s.  While not always in agreement on many issues, it was a pleasure working with their leadership in a respectful manner during a process which took several months.  Their contributions to the Borough often go unnoticed and unappreciated.  The truth is that the men and women of our public works department do an outstanding job with limited resources under the most difficult of New England weather conditions.

  • Borough Board Recap – 2/5/2014 » Bob's Blog said,

    [...] changes were made to the pension as an agreement was reached in a previous agreement to provide defined contribution pension plans to new members of the CBU.  The defined benefit [...]

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