Local 1596

Two Tampa city unions ratify labor contracts with three years of raises

So this week two unions for city employees embraced proposed labor contracts that would provide across-the-board pay increases of 2 percent in the coming year, 2.5 percent in 2015 and 3.5 percent in 2016. On Monday, members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1464 ratified a proposed three-year contract by a vote of 524 to 5. "I can't believe that five voted no," said ATU president Effrem Green, a longtime solid waste driver. The ATU represents about 1,800 general employees who largely work at clerical, technical and blue-collar jobs. Tuesday night, the International Association of Firefighters Local 754 said its members approved a similar contract 235 to 37. The same raises also are in a contract negotiated with the union for police, who will vote next week. Over three years, they add up to 8 percent, which Mayor Bob Buckhorn says city employees have earned. "They have done a lot more work with a lot less resources and have never complained," he said. "I think this three-year deal is fair for both us and for them." Employees who are eligible for separate merit raises or step increases could earn more if they are already not at the top of their pay scale and get good performance reviews. "The door is open for them, depending on how they do their business and how diligent they're going to be," Green said. Together, he said, the across-the-board and merit increases could increase employees' pay by as much as 16½ percent over three years.

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