9 Public Works Jobs Saved By Negotiations, New Contract
Nine OF Public Works employees will remain on the job, after Teamsters and the City of Oak Forest shook on a new contract April 10.
Aldermen unanimously approved the new contract set to begin May 1, effective through April 30, 2014.
The agreement was the product of negotiations and concessions between the two parties, after workers were previously issued notice of layoffs set for April 6.
“We were able to come to a recommendation to avoid the layoffs,” Public Works Director Troy Ishler told the city council. “What you see before you, essentially, is the $90,000 that we asked the bargaining unit for.”
The new contract includes the provision that teamster members will take their first 80 hours of overtime and use it towards compensatory time during the next fiscal year which begins May 1. Public works staff will have 18 months to use the hours.
“It's similar to what a furlough day is, this is just a different way of going about it,” Ishler said. “It can be a little better structured.”
Workers won't see a pay raise in the first year, but will receive a 3-percent bump by September 2013 and through the end of the contract in April 2014. The city will also not ask for any additional concessions for the next fiscal year, Ishler said.
“They stepped forward and saw the economic realities that the city is facing and we were able to come to an agreement,” Ishler said. “I'm very happy about that.”
Oak Forest City Clerk Scott Burkhardt agreed with Ishler's assessment of the agreement, stating that the move benefits both sides.