Cal City seeks 'uniformity' in its union contracts, approves deal with clerical workers

2013-08-08T00:00:00Z 2013-08-08T23:07:09Z Cal City seeks 'uniformity' in its union contracts, approves deal with clerical workersGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CALUMET CITY | The City Council gave its approval Thursday to a two-year deal with the union representing city clerical staff, with city Treasurer Gerald Tarka saying the deal is meant to be comparable with the union contracts given in recent years to other city employees.

The contract approved by a 7-0 vote with no public discussion Thursday is for two years – going back to May 1, 2012 and running through April 30, 2014.

The deal with Teamsters Local 700 provides for slight raises, a $50 annual increase in the uniform allowance (to $650 per year) and also requires clerical workers to make financial contributions to help cover the cost of their health insurance and other benefits.

Tarka and Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush both said the contract negotiations with all the unions that represent various city employees have been designed to include an employee contribution for their health insurance.

“We’re trying to be uniform with all of the unions,” said Tarka, who along with city Finance Director John Kasperek were involved in the negotiations earlier this summer with union officials.

Tarka also admitted that the matter of such contributions were the reason it took so long to reach an agreement that the City Council could approve – on at least two other occasions, the City Council had the contract on its agenda for consideration, only to have aldermen decide to postpone action.

“The holdup was deciding whether or not these contributions would be retroactive in some form,” Tarka said. The contract agreement approved Thursday by aldermen, and previously by union members, calls for retroactive contributions.

The appropriations ordinance approved last week by the City Council for the fiscal year that runs through April 30 provides for additional funds to cover the cost of pay raises for the clerical workers and the other union-represented city employees whose contracts were previously approved.

In other business, the City Council and Qualkinbush on Thursday presented a resolution to Brian Kelly, who previously was manager of the Home Depot store at 1550 Torrence Ave. The resolution says he had the store participate in local Earth Day and Health and Wellness Fair events, and also cooperated with the Boy Scouts on several fund raising events.

Kelly left the Calumet City store in June, and is now manager of a Home Depot store in northwest suburban Niles.

Aldermen also approved payment of grants the city provides to groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Calumet City Historical Society, the McKinney Center, the Calumet City Youth Organizations and both the Calumet City Chargers and Calumet City Thunderbolts youth football programs.

Grants range from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on the organization.

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