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City inks contract with electric workers

August 11, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved and signed a two-year contract with the city's electric workers.

The contract provides for pay raises but cuts back on some benefits.

Ray Foltz, the city's assistant finance director, said the contract will cost about $2,007,000 in the first year and about $2,091,000 in the second year.

City Director of Administrative Services John Budesky said the contract is within the city's budget guidelines.

The agreement is retroactive to July 1 and covers the city workers through June 30, 2006. It affects the 30 city electric workers who are members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 307.

Steven Logsdon, who negotiated on behalf of the electric workers, noted the length of the negotiating process but praised the city employees who worked on the contract.

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"It was sort of drawn out, but I think everybody got in the end what they wanted to get," Logsdon said.

According to an outline of the terms discussed Tuesday, the employees will receive a 3 percent pay raise this year and a 3.5 percent pay raise next year. The agreement caps health insurance premium increases at 10 percent this year and at 16.5 percent next year.

The amount of sick leave employees are allowed to sell back for cash was reduced by half, and the amount of overall sick days granted to employees was reduced from 15 a year to 12, according to the outline.

The two unions representing firefighters and public works employees have been working under contracts that expired June 30.

The city's fourth union, which represents police officers, settled a dispute dating back to 2001 in January after public negotiations. That contract expires next year.

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