New deal changes benefits

On June 17 the city council approved a new AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) union contract that will save West Linn about $122,000 over the next three years.

The contract, which was agreed on in principle at a pre-negotiation stage will allow for the employee paid percentage of medical and dental premiums to double in 2015, from 5 percent to 10 percent. It also features a cost-saving change in the employee prescription drug plan, as AFSCME workers agreed to take on a larger portion of the copay to save the city money.

AFSCME represents a variety of city employees, including planners, librarians, administrative assistants and recreation coordinators.

The current union contract expires June 30.

“These items result in a significant savings to the city and bring AFSCME employees’ benefit packages in line with management and police staff,” Assistant City Manager Kirsten Wyatt said. “Finding these savings, especially in a tight budget year, is substantial.”

A good portion of those benefit package savings likely would not have been possible had the city and union not engaged in pre-negotiation meetings, according to city Human Resources Manager Elissa Preston.

As part of the contract, the city agreed to increase its Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association contribution by $10 each month, per employee, in years one and two, and an additional $10 in the third year.

AFSCME union members voted 47-1 on May 29 to approve the new contract and send it on to city council.

Contract Publishing

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