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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 09/11/13
Union negotiations result
in $300,000 savings in WT
by KIMBERLY SCHERERNew union contracts have been put in place in Washington Township that will save the township more than $300,000 per year.
Observer Special Writer
"Overall, we feel really good about the outcome of the negotiations," Supervisor Dan O'Leary said, adding the new contracts help give increased job security to employees for the future.
O'Leary said there were a few major issues that were addressed such as the lack of mobility for employees and incentives for them to perform, excessive time off, and salaries for new employees.
Across the board, all unions agreed on reduced retirement and medical benefits. Incoming employees will be paid less than current employees. The probationary term for new hires was extended from 90 days to one and two years for some of the unions. Paid time off was addressed and the need for one union was no longer necessary as employees from it were absorbed into others.
A few highlights from each of the unions:
The International Association of Firefighters, Local 3299 (full time firefighters) contract was signed in August and expires March 21, 2019. The new contract allows for shifted part time, tiered pay scale for new hires and eliminated longevity. The Michigan Association of Firefighters (paid on-call firefighters) contract was also signed in August and expires May 15, 2016. Similar to the full time contract, the pay scale was also agreed to be tiered and allows for a shifted part time. In addition, the mandatory training was clarified and all employees will be enrolled in direct deposit.
Teamster Local 214<Administrative Assistants was absorbed into other unions with its two employees shifting to the department head union and the clerical union. The move allows the township to be flexible with its employees. For example, when one department needs assistance, an employee from another department can be utilized to help out.
The UAW Local 412, Dept. 92, Department of Public Works contract was signed in June and expires March 13, 2019. Its on-call pay was reduced by 43 percent. Job descriptions and the layoff approach were clarified. A professionalism code was put into place, which now requires a dress code.
The UAW Local 412, Department Heads, and UAW Local 412, Deputies, contracts were both signed in June and expire March 13, 2018. Salaries for new roles were clarified and vacant positions will not have to be filled.
The clerical union was signed in June and expires March 13, 2018. It was agreed they will be able to use temporary hires when needed and clarified the pay tiers for the lower jobs.
"The approach is very simple<tell people the truth," O'Leary said.
He said he showed the unions the township's financials. Right now the township is in great shape and he would like to keep it that way.
"We didn't ask for more than what was reasonable," O'Leary said.
"We have to give up something to get something," Trustee Art Grimes said.