The Anacortes City Council approved on Monday a revised contract with Teamsters Local 231 that provides a 2% cost-of-living pay increase for covered employees and brings broadband utility workers into the union.
The contract approved in May did not have cost-of-living allowances established for 2021 or 2022, but contained language authorizing COLAs to be established for those years and for adding broadband field technicians, the outside plant coordinator and business assistant to the union.
The 2% increase was negotiated by the union and the city based on COLA allowances negotiated by the police and fire unions, 2.5% and 2%, respectively; and the COLA in place for 2021 for Teamster members in a comparable city, Arlington, 2.5%.
The council voted 6-1 in favor; Councilman Matt Miller opposed, saying he didn’t support bringing broadband workers into the union until the fledgling utility “can pay for itself,” and because the budget impacts were not identified. City Finance Director Steve Hoglund said 2% increases were anticipated and included in the 2021 budget.
It’s one of four collective bargaining agreements, all of which can be viewed at www.anacorteswa.gov/154/Labor-Agreements. In addition to the Teamsters, the city has labor agreements with the Anacortes Police Services Guild for commissioned and non-commissioned employees and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1537. Employees in those departments also receive additional pay for longevity, lead assignments and shift differentials, according to the contracts.
City Administrative Services Director Emily Schuh told the council that when the broadband utility (Fiber Department) was started two years ago, the Teamsters asked that the positions in the department be union positions because they have duties similar to those performed by union members in other departments.
“We asked that they please hold off until the end of the two-year pilot program for us to be able to determine whether or not the project was going to be moving forward into future years,” she said. “When it was decided that, yes, we are moving forward, we held up our end of the bargain by saying it does make sense for these positions to be included in the collective bargaining agreement.”
Positions not included in the agreement: the Fiber Department manager, the network technician and the Information Technology Department.