PITTSBURGH, PA (August 4, 2016) The union for the City's refuse and animal control workers -- Local 249 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters – has ratified a new 5-year contract that will provide hourly wages of $15 for most workers and give them accelerated schedules for promotion.
The pact is within the spending guidelines set by the City's Act 47 Recovery Plan, which places controls on all union contracts and on salaries and benefits for non-union workers.
Last fall Mayor William Peduto issued an Executive Order mandating that all full-time City workers receive wages of $15 per hour, to be phased in over five years.
In the contract the Teamsters agreed to move to a union-sponsored health care plan that freed up more funding for salary increases for refuse workers, who are among the lowest-paid employees in the City. First year refuse employees who formerly made $12.28 per hour in the first year of their contract will now be paid $14.75, which grows to $15.20 per hour in 2018 and $15.81 in 2020.
The five-year pact covers the years 2016-2020. It is the final contract left with a City bargaining unit since Mayor Peduto took office in January 2014. Local 249's previous contract ended December 31, 2015.
"I want to thank the Teamsters for helping us to provide some of the hardest-working employees in this City a good wage, while working creatively with us to stay within the bounds of the state's Act 47 law," Mayor Peduto said.
Local 249 represents approximately 170 refuse workers and 14 Animal Care & Control employees. Its membership approved the pact Wednesday afternoon.
Collecting garbage is an arduous and dirty job, making recruitment difficult, but the new pact should help the Department of Public Works Environmental Services Bureau attract and retain new workers.
Under the union's previous contract it took eight years for new workers to build up the service time to reach the highest levels of pay. Under the new contract that is cut to four years. It also provides for better health and safety for workers by more quickly offering them enhanced disability pay: where workers previously had to wait 21 days for such pay, that wait is now cut to 8 days. Foremen will also be provided with increased occupational safety training to better serve their workers.
In other parts of the contract the City agreed to reimburse garbage truck drivers the cost of having their Commercial Driver's Licenses reapproved, and to provide Animal Control personnel with radios to enhance their safety.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
City of Pittsburgh
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