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Evansville City Council OKs union deal

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GINA R. HEINE
April 1, 2011
— The Evansville City Council unanimously approved a three-year contract with the majority of city employees in a special meeting Thursday night.

The new contract calls for a wage freeze this year and a 5 percent retirement contribution starting next year.


The contract with the Teamsters Local 695 is retroactive to Jan. 1 and extends through Dec. 31, 2013.


The contract covers 21 full-time employees in public works, the water and light utility and clerical staff, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said.


"I think it's a fair agreement for both sides," he said. "The employees certainly made some financial concessions in order to help the city meet cuts in revenues."


The union ratified the contract Wednesday.


Terms of the contract include:


-- A wage freeze this year with increases in 2012 and 2013. Most employees will receive an hourly increase of 10 cents in 2012 and an hourly increase of 20 cents in 2013. That's estimated to be an increase of 0.6 to 1.25 percent, Wietecha said.


Exceptions include the wastewater plant operator, who will receive a $1.20 per hour raise starting in 2012 because of added responsibilities and a restructuring of the linemen positions. A wage scale has been set up for the four-year lineman training program so wages at the top end will increase while wages at the lower end will decrease compared to current wages.


-- The city paying all retirement contributions this year, but employees paying 5 percent of their earnings toward their retirement in 2012 and 2013.


-- No change in health insurance premium contributions. Employees contribute 10 percent, and the city pays 90 percent, as has been done for 10 years, Wietecha said.


-- Language that would allow up to five furlough days per calendar year.



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