June 5, 2009 Volume 110 Number 11

Vancouver city employees forego cost-of-living raises for two years

Members of four unions representing workers at the City of Vancouver have agreed to give up cost-of-living raises for the next two years.

Office and Professional Employees International Local 11, which represents 172 city employees, approved the deal, along with the Joint Labor Coalition, which is comprised of the Machinists Union, Plumbers and Fitters Local 290, and Teamsters Local 58. The coalition represents 67 employees.

The contract does not impact step increases of 3.5 percent for roughly 100 employees.

The agreement will save the city approximately $495,000 in 2009.

Earlier this year, Fire Fighters Local 452 agreed to waive a previously negotiated cost-of-living increase for 2009, which resulted in a savings of more than $700,000. Local 452 and sister Local 4378, as well as the Fire Marshal’s Unit and Fire Command, also waived their wage increases for 2009 and 2010.

Two other unions, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees and the Police Command Unit, also represented by Local 11, are working under terms of expired contracts.

Additionally, all city managers and nonunion employees received no cost- of-living increases for 2009.

“We are well aware of the city’s budget situation and knew we would be asked to forgo pay increases for the biennium,” said Rick Wilson, a business representative of OPEIU Local 11. “I am pleased to say that our members overwhelmingly pledged their support for this agreement to help the city meet their financial challenges,”

The Vancouver City Council approved the two-year contract at its meeting June 1.

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