At a special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners approved new agreements with three unions representing county employees, including its largest employee union, AFSCME Local 2733. Commissioner Dan Smith (R-District 2) cast the lone vote against the agreements. The deals affect 675 employees, and will help the county reach its goal of gaining $8 million in labor concessions for 2012 and 2013. The county faces an estimated $17.5 million deficit over that two-year period.
In addition to the agreement with five bargaining units of AFSCME Local 2733, agreements were reached with: (1) the two bargaining units of TPOAM (Technical, Professional and Officeworkers Association of Michigan), representing 27 employees; and (2) one of two bargaining units of AFSCME Local 3052, representing four trial court supervisors. Also, the same benefits that AFSCME Local 2733 receives will be extended to non-union, court non-union and elected officials.
The second bargaining unit of AFSCME Local 3052, representing 60 general supervisors, voted down its agreement this week. Nancy Heine, president of AFSCME Local 3052, told The Chronicle that union leaders will be polling their membership tomorrow to determine what issues caused members to reject the tentative agreement.
The agreements for AFSCME units run through Dec. 31, 2013. They include no wage increases unless property tax revenues increase by at least 2% on or before Dec. 31, 2012. In that case, a 1% wage increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013. Other items include: (1) a 10% employee contribution to the Washtenaw County Employees’ Retirement System (WCERS); (2) $75/month premium sharing for the core health care plan; and (3) 10 bank leave days for 2012 and 2013. Longevity payouts will be eliminated for new hires after Jan. 1, 2012; for other employees, longevity payouts will be reduced by 25% in 2012. Step increases will be frozen for 2013.
The TPOAM agreement also includes a 1% wage increase, effective Jan. 1, 2013, if property tax revenues increase by at least 2% on or before Dec. 31, 2012. Other items include: (1) a 2% employee contribution to the Washtenaw County Employees’ Retirement System (WCERS); (2) a $150/month premium sharing for the core health care plan for nine months; and (3) 10 bank leave days for 2012 and 2013. Longevity payouts will be eliminated for new hires after Jan. 1, 2012. For other employees, longevity payouts will be reduced by 50% in 2012 and 2013. Step increases will be frozen in 2012 and 2013.
The TPOAM agreement also states that if Gov. Rick Snyder does not sign the 80/20 legislation into law, the union can re-open negotiations with the county. That legislation would require public employees to pay 20% of their health care costs, effective Jan. 1, 2012, or would cap the amount that local governments would pay as premiums for employees.
This brief was filed from the boardroom in the county administration building, 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]