Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Signing of New Four-Year Contract with AFSCME

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 20, 2018

Contact:  Olivia LaVecchia

                   (802) 734-0617

 

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Signing of New Four-Year Contract with AFSCME

 

Contract supports City employees while also taking responsible steps to address challenging issues for the City’s finances.

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced a new four-year contract between the City and City employees who are represented by Local 1343 of the American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The union represents more than 200 City employees who work across multiple City departments: Public Works; Parks, Recreation & Waterfront; the Airport; the Library; the Community and Economic Development Office; the Clerk and Treasurer’s Office; and civilian employees of the Burlington Police Department.

 

“With this contract, we were able to agree on terms that are supportive of City employees and at the same time take responsible steps to address challenging financial issues like the rising cost of healthcare and retirement,” said Mayor Weinberger. “I am particularly appreciative that we were again able to come to an agreement without arbitration. We’re fortunate to have outstanding, committed public employees here in Burlington, and I look forward to our ongoing work together.”

 

“AFSCME members work in almost all City departments and are a vital part of Burlington,” said Damion Gilbert, President of AFSCME Local 1343. “This contract does right by our members while also balancing the pressures on Burlington’s taxpayers. Thank you to the City Attorney and Mayor’s Office for working with us to have this contract settled before the upcoming holiday, and I’m glad to send our members into 2019 with these new terms.”

 

Highlights of the contract include:

  • Cost-sharing for healthcare and retirement: This contract continues the work of past years to stabilize the City of Burlington’s retirement system and health care costs.
    • On retirement, this contract implements a new method of cost-sharing that has employees contributing 30 percent of the cost of the retirement system by the final year of the contract. (Prior to pension reform negotiated in the previous contract, City employees were contributing only approximately 20 percent of the cost of the retirement system, well below the national standards at that time). AFSCME employees have also agreed to greater flexibility around cost of living increases for retirees based on the performance and funding level of the City’s fund. 
    • On health care, this contract continues the cost-sharing method that has all employees contributing a set percentage of the City’s self-insured fund, culminating in employees’ covering 20 percent of the cost of healthcare by the contract’s final year. At the same time, the agreement continues to cap what any individual employee will pay. Changes to the City’s prescription plan will likely further the City’s efforts to contain health care costs.

 

  • Compensation: The contract includes annual cost of living increases for AFSCME employees that total 10 percent over the four years of the contract. It also increases on-call pay from $30 per day up to $40 per day by the end of the contract.

 

  • Other benefits: The contract includes a number of other updates and provisions, including measures to comply with the State of Vermont’s new sick leave law and measures to be welcoming to all City employees by using gender-neutral pronouns throughout.

 

The new contract covers the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022. The previous AFSCME contract was effective from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018.

 

City employees are represented by four unions, with the other three being the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Burlington Police Officers Association, and the Burlington Firefighters Association. The City settled a new four-year contract with IBEW earlier this year, and continues negotiations with the police and fire unions. During the previous round of union negotiations, in 2015, the City was able to settle all four of its union contracts without resorting to arbitration for the first time in many years.

 

Please see attached photo: Mayor Miro Weinberger and AFSCME Local 1343 President Damion Gilbert at contract signing.

 

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Press Release Date: 
12/20/2018
City Department: 
Mayor's Office