Upper Arlington News

Council OKs contract with Teamsters Local 284

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Upper Arlington City Council has approved a new labor agreement with members of Teamsters Local 284.

Local 284 represents 13 street workers and seven utility workers in the city's public service division.

During a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, council voted 6-0 to approve a new employment agreement with the Teamsters, which puts Teamster employee contributions for insurance premiums on par with other city workers and providers for 1-percent salary increases in 2012 and 2013.

The action followed council's July 9 unanimous rejection of a fact-finder's report pertaining to contract negotiations with the union and therefore settles the matter.

"The Teamsters didn't get everything they wanted," Councilman Mike Schadek said. "The city didn't get everything they wanted."

Under the terms of the agreement, the city employees will receive a wage increase of 1 percent in 2012 and 2013, but they will not receive any increase in 2014. The fact-finder's report recommended another 1-percent increase for 2014, but the city found that unacceptable.

The employees also will pay insurance premiums to match the rates already included in contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Fire Fighters: a cap of 9 percent or $105 monthly in 2012 and 10 percent or $120 monthly in 2013.

"It doesn't in any way cap co-pays and deductibles and things like that," City Manager Theodore Staton said.

There is no numeric cap for 2014, but according to a city staff report, the amount that year can't exceed what is charged to all other city employees.

"We can't charge the Teamsters any more than we charge anyone else for insurance," said Cathe Armstrong, Upper Arlington finance and administrative services director. "All of them now (in 2012) are $105 (monthly for a family plan.)"

Another area of contention which was resolved Oct. 1 related to worker classes.

Although the fact-finder's report rejected by council in July upheld the city's intent to combine street maintenance worker and utility worker classes into a service worker class, the city would have been required to attempt to keep employees with at least 20 years of experience at the time of the agreement in the job duties they traditionally performed.

According to the fact-finder, the city wanted to permit a more flexible assignment of employees to different jobs; while the union was not against combining classifications, it was concerned about older employees who may be "physically unable of performing more physically demanding work to which they are currently unaccustomed."

Per the agreement ratified by council, the city was able to negotiate the removal of the exemption for 20-year employees, which allows supervisors to assign work without restrictions under a new, single-classification.

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