Grove City Council on May 20 approved a three-year contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1116 union.

The contract, which covers service, clerical and maintenance employees, including account clerks, account specialists and service technicians, provides the workers a 2.5% wage increase in the first year of the agreement and a 2% raise in each of the two years thereafter.

The previous contract ended at midnight April 20. The new agreement is effective from April 22 until midnight April 20, 2022.

The union members voted 13-11 to approve the contract April 23. The union represents 26 city employees.

City Council voted 3-1 to adopt the agreement. Council President Steve Robinette was absent from the meeting.

Councilman Ted Berry cast the no vote, citing the contract's provision that any new employee hired after April 22 would pay 20% of the cost of the monthly premiums for medical insurance and dental and vision coverage.

Current employees will continue to pay 15%, and Berry said he didn't think it was fair to potentially have employees working side by side and paying different amounts for insurance.

The city will pick up the remainder of the cost of the insurance coverage.

The additional cost to the city over the three years of the new agreement will be $245,437, Grove City Administrator Chuck Boso said.

That total includes the cost of the salary increases and insurance payments, he said.

The total cost of the new contract will be $5,635,601 compared to $5,390,164 for the previous three-year agreement, Boso said.

The previous contract approved in March 2016 gave the employees pay increases of 2.75% the first year, 2.5% the second year and 2% the final year.

The previous agreement also increased employees' share of their insurance premiums from 10% to 15%.

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