Twinsburg Completes Contract Negotiations for 2011
Contract agreements were reached with several unions representing city employees, but not dispatchers or firefighters
The city has come to an agreement with the unions representing five of the seven departments of city workers including another wage freeze for 2011.
Tuesday night, City Council unanimously voted in approval of five union contracts for the next two years.
Agreements were reached with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (OPBA) representing the patrol units and sergeants of the police department, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) representing service and clerical employees, and Teamsters Local #436 representing the wastewater treatment workers.
Twinsburg’s Human Resources Director Clayton Morris said all parties agreed on two-year contracts, except for the patrolmen, who decided for three years. While the contracts were for a certain length, they agreed there would be no increase in wages for 2011. They will renegotiate that in March 2012 when the economic picture is clearer.
“Instead of trying to do a three-year contract and not know what the financial state of the city is and where we were going to be, I agreed to just do basically a one-year contract,” Morris said.
Employees haven’t had a wage increase since 2009 when the city had to renegotiate contracts in order to avoid layoffs.
Representatives for the police sergeants and wastewater workers had no issue with the new contracts. Joe Pavone from Teamsters Local #436 said he understood the issues the city is faced with and had no problems in negotiation.
“We were satisfied with how it turned out,” Pavone said.
Representatives from AFSCME had no comment and the representative for the OPBA was unavailable for comment.
Morris said there were no significant changes in contracts but the city had additional discussion with AFSCME about adding a mediation clause, which both sides agreed to. This allows the city to have a dispute resolution process that is paid for by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. This process would come before arbitration, which can cost the city up to $10,000 to resolve a grievance.
“I’m happy that we have contracts with these parties for this year and I look forward to being able to negotiate a three-year contract next year,” Morris said.
Mayor Katherine Procop repeated that sentiment at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“I am very proud of our employees, our negotiating team, and the staff who worked on negotiations,” Procop said. “They all did a great job and their cooperation is tremendous.”
There are two contracts still awaiting final approval. Negotiations with the city dispatchers represented by the OPBA and the fire department represented by the International Association of Firefighters are still ongoing. Morris could not discuss the details of the negotiations but said he believes they should be complete in the next few weeks.