The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

February 24, 2014

City, IBEW reach contract pact

Talks continue with UAW, AFSCME

ANDERSON – The city administration has reached agreement with one of three local labor unions that have been working under contract extensions for several years.

Wayne Huffman, director of human resources, said the administration of Mayor Kevin Smith reached a new contract agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents workers at Anderson Municipal Light & Power, on a four-year agreement.

The previous contract expired June 30, 2011, and the new agreement runs through June 30, 2015.

Huffman said the agreement provides for a 4 percent salary increase in each of the four years of the contract. He said workers received retroactive pay to July 1, 2011.

IBEW members received approximately $350,000 in retroactive pay.

Huffman said the contract was supposed to have been settled during the final year of the Kris Ockomon administration.

He said the IBEW members will now be covered under the union’s health insurance plan, instead of the city’s policy. The Ockomon administration didn’t consider the IBEW health insurance proposal in 2011, Huffman said.

“The money we saved from the insurance costs went to pay for the raises,” he said. “There was a savings for both the employees and the city.”

The city is currently in negotiations with the United Auto Workers union, which represents employees in the utility office, city hall maintenance, dispatch and Anderson Police Department records, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents workers in the street, parks, sewer maintenance and City of Anderson Transit System.

Huffman said the UAW contract, which expired in 2007, has been extended one year at a time. The AFSCME contract expired in 2009.

He wouldn’t comment on whether members of the UAW and AFSCME would also receive an annual 4 percent pay increase under the terms of a new contract.

Employees represented by those two unions could possibly receive retroactive pay as a part of the new labor pact.

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