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BREAKING NEWS: MEA and City Reach Tentative Agreement on New Four-Year Contract

MEA and City Reach Tentative Agreement on New Four-Year Contract

MEA’s Negotiating Team is pleased to announce that MEA has reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the City on a new four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which, if ratified, would begin on July 1, 2016, and end on June 30, 2020. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council approved the final terms of this TA during a closed session meeting this morning. If MEA’s membership ratifies the TA, it will come before the City Council for final adoption in a public session in November for implementation on July 1, 2016.

If Ratified, This TA Would Increase Flex to $11,705 During the First 2 Years and Bring 6.6% in Pensionable Pay Increases During the Last 2 Years

  1. Your Flexible Benefit Allotment would increase by $1,500 on 7/1/16, to a new total of $10,055.
  2. Your Flexible Benefit Allotment would increase by an additional $1,650 on 7/1/17, to a new total of $11,705, and remain at $11,705 for 7/1/18 and 7/1/19.
  3. You would receive a general salary increase of 3.3% on 7/1/18.
  4. You would receive an additional 3.3% general salary increase on 7/1/19.

Based on the average salary of MEA-represented employees, these Flex and General Salary increases would represent an approximate 13% increase in total compensation over four years.

If this TA is ratified, the 3.3% pensionable pay increases for MEA-represented employees – slated for July 1, 2018, and again on July 1, 2019 – would be for the same amounts and occur on the same dates as sworn police officers will receive under the new contract their union negotiated earlier this year. And, July 1, 2018 is the very first day on which pensionable pay increases can occur across-the-board under Proposition B. If ratified, these salary increases would improve the take-home pay of every MEA-represented employee, and would also result in an increased lifetime pension or 401k benefit for employees who retire or enter DROP after these pensionable pay increases have been fully implemented.

If Ratified, This TA Would Bring Other Economic Improvements For All MEA-Represented Employees on July 1, 2016

  1. Your Discretionary Leave benefit would increase to 24 hours annually – available during each of the 4 years of a new MOU;
  2. A first-ever 30-day paid parental leave benefit would become available for a qualifying event once each 12-month period – and this paid leave would be in addition to annual leave accruals;
  3. Your Bereavement Leave benefit would be improved to include additional family members in its coverage – grandparents and grandchildren; step-parents and step siblings; mother-in-law and father-in-law;
  4. Those who pay to park downtown (Concourse Parkade and Library) would enjoy an increase in the City’s subsidy from 50% to 75%, reducing the amount employees have to pay for downtown parking by half (about $500 a year);
  5. The Tuition Reimbursement benefit would double from $1,000 to $2,000 annually, and the amount available for eligible job-related training events would quadruple from $500 to $2,000 annually; and,
  6. The dollar amount of each Uniform Allowance currently being paid would increase by 5% each year – for a total of 20% over the 4-year term. [See Attachment #1 to this message.]

If Ratified, This TA Would Implement Overdue Special Salary Adjustments on 7/1/18 And Provide the Opportunity for Others to Be Approved by the Mayor and Council Where Demonstrated Recruitment and Retention Issues Exist

In addition to the 6.6% in general salary increases for all MEA-represented employees in the last two years of this proposed contract, hundreds of employees across nearly two dozen MEA-represented job classifications would also receive a Special Salary Adjustment (SSA) on July 1, 2018 because of past, documented recruitment and retention issues. Several of these SSAs had, in fact, been recommended by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and approved by the City Council back in 2008 but were never implemented by the City because of a bargaining impasse with then-Mayor Jerry Sanders. These SSAs, as well as other SSAs which the CSC recommended in the years after 2008, were all shelved and never acted upon by the City Council because of the events that followed – the great recession of 2009-2010 and pensionable pay freezes mandated by Proposition B. This new TA, if ratified, would call for implementation of all these SSAs on July 1, 2018 – the first date permitted under Prop B. [See Attachment #2 to this message for a complete list of these job classifications.]

Also, if ratified, this TA would allow employees in classifications not presently scheduled to receive a SSA on July 1, 2018 to use the process available – with MEA’s help – to demonstrate to the Civil Service Commission why such a special salary adjustment is needed due to documented recruitment and retention issues. For each year of this proposed contract, the TA provides MEA with the opportunity to present the City’s Human Resources Office and the Mayor with any additional SSAs recommended by the CSC and to seek mutual agreement regarding their implementation. If approved by the City Council, those SSAs would also be added to MEA’s MOU before July 1, 2018.

What’s Next?

Ratification Vote Scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2015

This TA represents months of work to achieve the best possible economic outcome for all MEA-represented employees. Your MEA Negotiating Team, MEA’s Lead Negotiator Ann Smith, and MEA General Manager Mike Zucchet all recommend approval of this TA and take pride in bringing it to you for a vote on October 15, 2015. [See Attachment #3 to this message for more details regarding ratification voting locations and times.]

As always, MEA-represented employees will receive one hour of City-provided release time from your customary duties on October 15th to allow you the opportunity to visit with Negotiating Team Members and MEA representatives at your polling site, review materials, ask questions, and cast your vote. Only MEA members are eligible to vote in this ratification process.

The ratification decision will soon be in your hands. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call (619-264-6632) or e-mail (info@sdmea.org) MEA with questions.

P. S. To assure the broadest possible dissemination of these important materials, MEA is also mailing this message – with the three attachments – to the home addresses of all MEA members and agency fee payers.

Attachment 1
Attachment 2
Attachment 3