ESCANABA – Union members with Teamsters Local 406 representing Escanaba Public Safety officers and dispatch at voted down a three year collective bargaining agreement Wednesday. The vote was 18 to 7.
Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole says the agreement was reached through mediation.
“It is the position of the city that the contract that was agreed to as a result of mediation was fair and balanced between the city and members of Teamsters Local 406, the Escanaba PSO/dispatch unit,” O’Toole said at the of a closed session during the Escanaba City Council meeting Thursday night. “Further, we believe the terms of the contract honored past commitments made to existing employees while at the same time addressing need to control future legacy costs for the Escanaba taxpayer for newly hired employees.”
Because the union voted down the contract the Escanaba City Council did not vote to ratify the agreement. The officers and dispatchers at Escanaba Public Safety have been working without a contract since June 30.
The council did approve a three year contract with the Teamsters Local 406 Public Safety Command Unit. It includes a 2 percent wage increase each year and holiday pay exanded to reflect a change in 8 hour to 12 hour shifts.
New employees would participate in a defined contribution retirement plan versus the current defined benefit retirement plan. Under the terms of the defined contribution plan, a mandatory 10 percent employer contribution would be made towards retirement and an employee mandatory 6 percent contribution would be made.
Also under the contract, new employees would participate in a paid time off plan which would replace sick leave, vacation, personal leave and funeral leave offered to the current employees.
Non-economic changes included cleanup of the grievance language, changes to vacation scheduling language and changes to insurance language.
Teamsters Local 406 representative Kevin Keveney was not immediately available for comment.