Front-line City workers who resurface roads, maintain water treatment plants, collect the city's waste, and deliver other essential services have ratified a new, four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that provides significant raises of an average of 12.6% for all Local 500 employees, establishes annual salary "step" increases, and creates a citywide minimum wage of $16 per hour for seasonal and part-time workers, and $17 per hour for full-time employees. Local 500 members also include customer service reps, taxpayer specialists and ambulance billing clerks, among other important jobs that keep the city running.

The City Council has approved the new contract between the City and Local 500 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.

"Today, I hope you recognize that this is a small token of our appreciation with many, many, more to come," Mayor Quinton Lucas said. "And what I hope that what we see over the next several years isn't that we fall behind, once again, but that we become leaders in our region, in our country in terms of how we look out for our workforce with pay increases at high levels that make sure we represent all of you."

"I am appreciative that the City and Local 500, knowing we need to pay our workers a better wage, came together to begin raising wages to a more competitive level." said First District at-large Councilmember Kevin O'Neill. "This is a great start but nowhere near the finish line."

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During discussion before the city council, Local 500 President Reginald Silvers praised the new CBA, "This is a step in the right direction. The goal is recruitment, retention, and training, and we have solved some of those problems with these negotiations. Local 500 is grateful and appreciative."

The new agreement runs for four years, expiring April 30, 2026. Additional highlights include:
  • Market-based salary adjustments on Aug. 1, 2022, for the current fiscal year; the average increase is 12.63%
  • Step increases of 3%-4% during the next three fiscal years
  • Annual longevity pay as a lump sum each December for members with 5+ years of service
  • Increases in shift differentials, overtime meal allowances and tool allowances

"We've been working closely with Local 500 leadership to find ways to better support and celebrate our hard-working front line essential city employees," said City Manager Brian Platt. "These significant increases to salaries and benefits will improve our ability to attract and retain the best talent which will also ultimately improve service delivery."

The City's Human Resources Department reviewed market data to help determine the CBA's new pay grades. The goal is to increase employees' salaries to a competitive level to help attract and retain employees. This is a similar approach taken to determine new and higher pay grades for non-union employees, which also go into effect on Aug. 1.

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Other recent improvements to employee benefits citywide include:
  • Salary adjustments for unrepresented employees this fiscal year will include a weighted pay increase from 1%-8% based on years of service
  • Changes to unrepresentative employee pay grades based on market studies so that employees are paid a more competitive salary that accurately reflects their work and responsibilities
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • More progressive healthcare plans, including gender-affirming treatments
  • Eliminating expensive HMOs from healthcare plans to keep employee costs down while adding expanded healthcare coverage to our remaining plans to include: fertility treatments, weight loss treatments, gender affirming treatments, and a new healthy birth/maternity program
  • Created telework policy to enable more flexible work schedules
  • Juneteenth holiday recognition
  • Implemented VESSA Leave, which provides unpaid time off to victims of sexual assault and abuse for court visits and medical treatments

The City has a wide variety of jobs available, both union and non-union positions, with competitive pay and benefits. We are hiring mechanics, maintenance workers, summer lifeguards, development specialists, public health nurses, engineers, chemists and more. Apply now at .

Media questions may be directed to Media Relations Manager Maggie Green at 816-513-2612.

Filed Under: Government, City

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