After five years of working under an expired contract, a local union reached a new agreement on Tuesday.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and District Council Union 47 signed an 8-year contract.
“I’m very pleased to announce that our Administration’s labor team a short time ago came to an agreement with representatives from AFSCME District Council 47 on an 8-year contract that provides critically important reforms in the areas of pensions, healthcare and work rules, while providing pay raises for thousands of members of this union," Nutter said.
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DC 47 represents thousands of workers in Philadelphia. Their contract expired in 2009, leading to years of negotiations with Mayor Nutter over a new one.
On Monday, all 16 members of the city council sent an open letter to Mayor Nutter, asking Nutter to negotiate a new contract with the union as well as District Council 33.
“It is time to have a serious conversation about the five-year impasse between your Administration and the workers who provide vital services our residents expect and deserve,” they wrote. “It is simply unfair for thousands of our blue collar workers to remain frozen in a time of recession-induced fear and uncertainty. The City of Philadelphia must reconsider its contract demands, and AFSCME District Council 47 and District Council 33 workers must show a willingness to negotiate.”
Nutter held a meeting with DC 47 officials Tuesday night at the Sheraton Hotel on 17th and Vine Streets. He then announced that a new contract agreement was reached with the union.
Nutter says the new contract runs from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2017. He released the specific details on the contract in a written statement:
- Ratification bonus of $2,000 per person
- Effective 30 days after ratification, there shall be an across the board wage increase of 3.5%
- Effective July 1, 2015, there shall be an across the board wage increase of 2.5%
- Effective July 1, 2016, there shall be an across the board wage increase of 3%
- Effective January 1, 2015, employee pension contributions increase by .5% of pay.
- Effective January 1, 2016, employee pension contributions increase by an additional .5% of pay.
- New hires either go into Plan 10 or pay an additional 1% of pay, which will go up as the contributions for current employees do up to an additional 2% of pay as of January 1, 2016.
- Current employees have 90 days to elect to move into Plan 10.
- Effective July 1, 2014, the overtime rate for all employees who are entitled to cash overtime will be based on their EP pay range and step.
- Effective January 1, 2015, sick time will not be counted as hours worked for purposes of determining when overtime is due on a weekly basis.
HEALTH & WELFARE:
- Through December 31, 2014, the City’s contribution to the health fund will be $1,100 per member per month. In addition, the City will make a one-time lump sum payment to the health fund of $5 million.
- Effective January 1, 2015, the health fund will move to a self-insured arrangement and the City will pay only the cost of benefits and administration.
- Effective January 1, 2015, the employee contributions will be set at no less than 9% of projected total cost.
- The health fund will continue to maintain an aggressive wellness program, including financial incentives.
- In lieu of creating a separate mechanism for furloughs or temporary layoffs, the Union agrees to support the change to civil service regulations to allow the City to streamline the layoff process through a change in calculation of the layoff score and to change the pension ordinance to provide that a layoff of fewer than 15 consecutive days will not be considered a separation for purposes of the DROP to prevent employees who are in the DROP from experiencing a permanent separation as a result of a temporary layoff.
- The parties agree to a pilot program to evaluate the use of contract pharmacists in the Department of Public Health.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PROGRAM:
- The City will contribute $50,000 to the AFSCME DC 47 Health and Welfare Fund for FY2014 through FY2017 to continue the Workplace Violence Prevention Program.
- The parties will continue the 2008 pilot program regarding grant-funded positions in the Health Department.