Rocky Fork Enterprise

United Steelworkers

Council mulls amendment to agreement with labor union


Gahanna City Council is considering an amendment to a labor agreement with its United Steelworkers bargaining unit that details a negotiated wellness component to determine employees' healthcare premiums.

Human-resources director Sue Wadley said the existing bargaining-unit agreement with the United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial, and Service Workers International is effective Jan. 2, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2017.

It covers 29 employees, including 12 equipment operators, three fleet technicians, three utility-filling specialists, two deputy clerks of courts, a code-enforcement officer, a facilities maintenance coordinator, a fleet technician foreman, a forestry technician, a parks-and-recreation facilities foreman, a parks and recreation foreman, a secretary, a streets foreman and a utilities foreman.

When the city entered into the agreement with the United Steelworkers unit, it included the addition of a wellness component, Wadley said.

The employees' share of the health-care premiums would be determined based upon their level of participation in the wellness program.

When the new agreement was drafted, Wadley said, an administrative error occurred and the details of how the employees' share of health-insurance premiums would be calculated were not included.

Because that was part of the negotiation process and affects the employees' paychecks, the agreement needs to be amended to include those details, she said.

According to the agreement, employees and covered spouses who don't participate in the wellness program pay 15 percent of the health-insurance premium. Employees currently are paying 6 percent of their medical-insurance premiums.

An employee would pay 10 percent if he or she and the spouse participate in a wellness program and one or both test positive for nicotine, or if the employee participates in the wellness program and does not test positive for nicotine but the covered spouse doesn't participate in the wellness program.

An employee would pay 6 percent if he or she and the spouse participate in the wellness program and neither tests positive for nicotine.

"Each year will stand alone," Wadley told ThisWeek. "The employee could participate in 2015 but not (necessarily) in 2016. The medical premiums are 15 percent, with the option to be 10 percent or 6 percent if they choose to participate in the wellness option."

According to the agreement, wellness participation includes completion of an annual health-risk assessment. That includes completing the annual biometrics screening; signing the annual participation agreement; participating in an educational activity; attending the annual City Health Fair; attending the wellness annual kickoff; attending two luncheons or wellness webinars approved by the city's human-resources department; and submitting to a screening for the presence of nicotine.

If participating in the wellness program, an employee and covered spouse will be eligible to earn up to $400 annually in wellness incentives.

In other action, council is considering a change to its fishing code at the recommendation of the parks and recreation board.

Council is considering an ordinance that states fishing at any city-owned park would be catch-and-release only, excluding special programming authorized by the parks and recreation director. Legislation currently specifies Woodside Green Park Pond and Woodside Green South Park Pond as catch-and-release.