The Town of Durham and the AFSCME Public Works Collective Bargaining Unit have at long last reached a "Tentative Agreement" for a successor collective bargaining agreement. The unit has been without a contract since December 31, 2009.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Town of Durham and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 93 and its Appropriate Affiliate Local 863 (AFSCME) representing Durham’s public works personnel expired on December 31, 2009. Subsequent to that time, three Tentative Agreements (“TA’s”) had been reached by Town and Union negotiators only to be voted down on two occasions by the AFSCME membership and once by the Durham Town Council. The parties continued discussions until an impasse was reached earlier this year. The parties then by mutual agreement entered into mediation.
A lengthy mediation session was held on September 10, 2012, at which time the parties ultimately reached a TA. The AFSCME bargaining team will bring the TA to their membership for a vote on September 25th. If the AFSCME Unit votes to ratify the TA, it would then be brought to the Town Council for a ratification vote on October 15, 2012.
Highlights of the TA follow:
One Time off the salary Schedule $750.00 signing bonus upon ratification
Migration from Anthem to Cigna Insurance, effective 1/1/13. The Cigna plan is of high quality and is less costly than the existing Anthem plan offered through the Local Government Center.
Employee insurance premium contribution increases from existing 10% level to:
5% Insurance Premium Cap, effective 12/31/15, to be implemented based upon 7/1/16 rates.
Insurance buyback increased from 40% to 45%, effective 1/1/13.
5 day work week for all DPW employees, effective 1/1/13. Many DPW staff presently are on a 4 day workweek which has long been of concern to the Town in terms of optimizing efficiencies within the department.
Earlier this year, the Town of Durham and the New England Police Benevolent Association Local #21 representing Durham's police officers wereable to successfully come to terms on an equitable collective bargaining agreement extending from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013.