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Workers, borough agree on new labor contract

Posted: Monday, April 09, 2007

Agreement on a new labor contract has been reached between the Kenai Peninsula Borough and it workers.

The borough assembly voted Tuesday to approve a new collective bargaining agreement with the Kenai Borough Employees Association (KBEA), which represents about 230 of the borough’s 278-person labor force.

The association had already approved the new three-year pact, which will increase general wage costs about $310,000 for fiscal year 2008 beginning July 1. That figure represents a 2.2-percent pay increase for all employees, including management personnel. Annual increases will be tied to the Anchorage Consumer Price Index.

Changes from the current contract include such things as paying 911 dispatchers an additional 5 percent per hour when they are training new employees; performing a limited wage-scale comparison prior to the next round of negotiations; and creation of a safety committee consisting of three KBEA members and three borough members to consider matters of workplace, personal and occupational safety.

Language was added to leave provisions, specifically adding step, adopted and foster children to those included in “immediate family” for sick leave, and the addition of grandchildren to “immediate family” with regards to bereavement leave.

The annual maximum for dental benefits was increased from $1,000 to $1,500 beginning Jan. 1, 2008. The annual maximum allowed for glasses frames went up from $45 to $100.

Other provisions change the prescription drug benefit rules, revamp how employees will be reimbursed for certain travel expenses, and up administrative leave for employees exempted from overtime rules from 150 to 160 hours.

Hal Spence can be reached at harold.spence@peninsulaclarion.com.



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