Youngstown union rejects fact-finder report
By David Skolnick
Members of Youngs-town’s street-department union unanimously rejected a fact-finder’s report on a three-year contract while city council unanimously approved it.
The employees, members of Teamsters Local 377, rejected the report 29-0 Monday, while council supported it 7-0 at a Tuesday special meeting.
The report called for no base-pay salary increase for the first two years of a three-year deal and a clause to reopen negotiations in the final year if another union receives a raise, said city Law Director Anthony Farris.
The report also would require new street-department union hires pay an amount equal to 15 percent of an employee’s health-care premiums rather than the 10 percent currently paid by union members.
Also, new hires would have to pay higher amounts toward their pension plans.
The city is required to pay an amount equal to 14 percent of an employ-ee’s salary toward his or her retirement.
The employees are to pay an amount equal to 10 percent, but the city has paid that amount for them for years, Farris said.
What happens next is up to the union, Farris said.
“They can ask to resume negotiations, arbitrate or issue a strike notice,” he said. “It’s their call. We’re always willing to negotiate.”
Rich Sandberg, Teamsters Local 377 president, couldn’t be reached late Tuesday by The Vindicator to comment.
The union has worked without a contract since its old deal expired Dec. 31, 2012. That three-year deal included pay freezes, and before approving the contract, union members considered going on strike.