Council OKs new contract

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010

A new collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers was approved by the Soldotna City Council and was approved, after months of negotiation.

The new contract will give union workers a 1.8-percent pay increase.

"In the future it'll be tied to the Anchorage Consumer Price Index," City Manager Larry Semmens said.

According to Semmens, the three-year deal changes compensation for employees called at home on off-hours, clarifies wages rates when a union member acts in a higher capacity and adjusts pay for out-of-state work. The contract technically started July 1 and will be put into place retroactively.

Now a union member will receive an hour's worth of compensation when they receive a call off-duty when they're phoned for each hourly period they get a ring, Semmens said. The previous contract paid workers an hour's pay for each "incident." The city manager said that the new contract clears up the ambiguity.

A union member will receive a 3-percent pay increase when the worker acts as in a higher qualified position for a total workday under the new rules. The previous contract gave the same benefits when a union member did the same for eight hours, but because some workers have longer days the city changed the language.

The new contract stipulates that workers will receive a flat rate of $50 reimbursement for in-state travel expenses and out-of-state work will be adjusted to the Federal GSA, he said.

In other action, Fred Meyers awarded the Soldotna Library a $15,000 grant for a youth reading program.

"Come up here and I'll give you some money," Linda Shermers, a respresentative from the company, said to the members of the library board at the meeting.

Tony Cella can be reached at

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