By STEVE JONES Staff writer
Members of two of the five unions that represent city employees have received retroactive raises. Meanwhile, members of two others await back pay while the third — police — is close to agreement on a contract for 2010.
The city agreed to terms with the Civil Service Employees Association and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1088 earlier this year for one-year contracts to cover 2010. CSEA represents 80 city employees. Local 1088 has 88 members on the city payroll. Those employees received the retroactive pay raises for the first half of 2010 in July.
The gross retroactive pay to CSEA and management (appointed employees not covered by any union) was $37,794, according to city records. The gross retroactive pay to Local 1088 was $30,276.
The city budgets for anticipated wages, regardless of whether there is a contract in place at budget time or if it has to be forecast, according to Corporation Counsel Diane Martin-Grande. She is part of the administration’s collective bargaining team.
There are two other city unions with one-year deals in place for 2010 that are awaiting their back pay from the start of the year. There are 82 firefighters in the Rome Professional Firefighters Association. The Amalgamated Transit Union local represents six city workers from what was previously known as the Parking Authority.
The one city union with no contract for this year is the Philip S. McDonald Police Benevolent Association, which represents 74 full- and 11 part-time members. Its last contract expired at the end of 2009.
According to Martin-Grande, the police union has a tentative deal in place that will go before the Board of Estimate and Contract for approval at its next meeting at 3 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall. It will be a one-year deal, she said.
With all four current agreements and the tentative deal with the police due to expire at the end of this year, negotiations for 2011 contracts will have to begin soon. Some union representatives have asked to start talks already, said Martin-Grande, but the administration is unable to do so because of issues largely dependent on the upcoming 2011 budget planning process. "I don’t expect we will talk with them until we see what the budget will look like," she said.
The city’s budget in 2009 was $42.6 million, of which $19.2 million was for wages. That’s 45 percent. The exact percentage of this year’s $42.5 million city budget that covers wages won’t be known until the police union’s contract is official. The city’s fiscal year begins on Jan. 1.