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posted: 5/28/2014 5:30 AM

Schaumburg reaches agreement with two unions

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Schaumburg trustees Tuesday approved two union contracts -- one of them the latest for village firefighters, the other the first for 203 previously nonunion employees.

Those general employees organized as a chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in 2012, Village Manager Brian Townsend said. It was then that negotiations began toward the new three-year contract.

Despite the length of the negotiations, the effective dates of the contract are from May 1, 2014, to April 30, 2017.

Both sides were able to reach agreement on a merit-based pay program acknowledging each individual's performance, Townsend said.

Matthew LaPierre, staff representative of AFSCME Council 31 in Chicago, said his union also was pleased with the final agreement.

"We wanted to make it as transparent as possible and as fair and objective as possible," LaPierre said.

Members of this union include nonmanagement employees not already members of police, fire or public works unions.

LaPierre said these workers organized in 2012 to have a stronger voice in workplace decisions and to no longer be at-will employees.

Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson said there's now a process involved in firing a union employee, but that the village was "very pleased" with the performance-based pay scale that was agreed on. Depending on one's time on the job and performance review, annual raises could range from zero to 6 percent -- with new employees more likely to see higher raises for outstanding performance.

The three-year contract with the village's firefighter-paramedics was much simpler in both the negotiating process and the agreed-to pay schedule, Townsend said.

Firefighters will receive not only 2 percent raises on May 1 of 2014, 2015 and 2016, but also 1 percent raises on Nov. 1 of 2014 and 2015 and a 0.5 percent raise on Nov. 1, 2016.

With these two contracts in place -- following another for the fire department's command staff members earlier this month -- the village is back on schedule with its collective bargaining with employee unions, Townsend said.

"We're happy to have all those things put to bed," he said.

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