City, union reach 3-year contract

Wapakoneta union workers and city administrators recently reached a three-year contract agreement, which became official earlier this week with the adoption of an ordinance by Wapakoneta City Council.
The contract with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 565 provides wage increases of 1.5 percent for each of the next two years and a 2 percent increase in the third and final year. The contract covers approximately 50 workers with the Public Works, Refuse and Recycling, Water and Wastewater departments as well as some office staff at the Wapakoneta City Administration Building.
“Our negotiating sessions with the Utilities Workers Union went smoothly,” Safety-Service Director Bill Rains said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with and we had very few issues to work through and those were dealt with quickly and fairly.
“We were able to work this contract out in eight hours,” he said. “This contract is certainly a testament to the union. They
understand that we are not in terrible shape, but we are not in as good of shape as we would like to be — they understood our position and we were able to negotiate a good deal.”
Councilors adopted an ordinance approving the deal Monday after suspending the rule of three readings and passing it as an emergency. The current contract expired May 16. The current deal starts Aug. 1 and extends to July 31, 2014.
Union workers voted in favor of the deal on June 22, with only one vote against accepting the contract terms.
Councilors met several times in the past month discussing terms of the deal in executive session before voting on the contract Monday.
The city used Pat Hire of Clemans, Nelson & Associates, of Lima, to negotiate the deal.