First union contracts approved for some Rolling Meadows employees

 
 
Updated 7/17/2018 10:36 AM
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  • Rolling Meadows aldermen have approved labor agreements with two new employee unions representing clerks, accountants, inspectors, public works staff and other employees. The deals call for 2.5 percent annual raises.

    Rolling Meadows aldermen have approved labor agreements with two new employee unions representing clerks, accountants, inspectors, public works staff and other employees. The deals call for 2.5 percent annual raises. Daily Herald File Photo, 2014

Rolling Meadows employees including secretaries, inspectors and public works staff are now working under labor agreements -- the first time those workers have been covered by union contracts in the city's history.

The first-time contracts with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, and American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, Local 8247, follows more than two years of closed-door negotiations that began when the Illinois Labor Relations Board certified city employee memberships in the unions.

In all, 57 employees are covered under the two contracts, which were ratified by the members and approved on 4-1 votes of the city council July 10. Alderman Mike Cannon cast the lone "no" vote on both contracts but didn't comment publicly.

Now 84 percent of the city's employees are covered by one of four union contracts. City officials are in negotiations with police and fire union representatives, whose contracts expire at the end of the year.

Before unionizing, employees were covered by a city handbook laying out rules on employee conduct, discipline, grievances, complaints, appeals, pay and benefits. The new contracts have similar provisions, but now a union steward can be present for disciplinary and grievance meetings.

The contracts call for annual 2.5 percent salary increases retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2018, and then again in 2019 and 2020. The Local 8247 agreement also has a 1.5 percent raise retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016.

That agreement -- covering employees such as secretaries, clerks, accountants, building inspectors, meter readers and police assistants -- doesn't award raises to employees who receive a performance evaluation "below expectations."

Employees also are eligible for additional pay if they hold at least an associate degree or additional certifications. Those who don't participate in the education incentive plan can get longevity pay after at least 10 years of service.

The lowest paid position under the contracts is clerk typist, at $41,689 a year. The highest paid building code inspector will earn $93,057.

Under both agreements, employees are required to contribute more to their health insurance than they had in the past. They now are paying 13 percent of the cost of insurance, and in December, it will go up to 14 percent.

The agreements run through the end of 2020.

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