City supervisors OK city employee's association contract

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Members of the Carson City Employees Association will receive an immediate 1.51 percent raise retroactive to July 1 following Thursday's unanimous decision by city supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors approved a three-year contract with the employee association that calls for the raise and other benefits. It was the second attempt to come to a bargaining agreement with the group.

"You give us service to this community and you all do a good job," Mayor Ray Masayko said.

Supervisors rejected the initially negotiated contract at their meeting Dec. 19.

The employees' association then filed a complaint with the Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board in Las Vegas on Dec. 31.

In the complaint, the association claimed the city bargained in bad faith, and asked the board to order the city to ratify the collective-bargaining agreement finalized by the union after 10 months of negotiations with city management and pay for attorney fees.

Employees had agreed to a two-year contract that included a 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment plus "longevity" package, which was projected as a 0.4 percent wage increase in the first year, retroactive to July 1, 2002, and a 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment effective July 1.

After filing the complaint, the association decided to go back to the table. What followed was not negotiations but an acceptance of a city proposal, said association president LeAnne Warne, a production operator with the city's water utility district.

The newly approved three-year contract calls for a 1.51 percent wage increase for the current fiscal year that began in July, a 1.02 percent increase beginning this July and another 2.5 percent increase granted July 2004.

The agreement includes a longevity benefit that rewards employees with raises each year for staying with the city, said Ann Beck, city human resources director.

The association withdrew its complaint with the state agency after accepting the new contract.

"I'm very pleased that it passed today," Warne said. "But there was no real negotiating there."

The association is made up of 200 employees.

City supervisors decided not to take action on approving an across-the-board raise for all other rank-and-file employees Thursday. Instead, they decided to approve a 2 percent cost-of-living raise in the pay range for employees who are not involved in the association, the fiscal impact of which is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.

The board directed interim City Manager Andy Burnham to return to the board in two weeks with his proposal on how a 2 percent raise should be distributed.


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