City of Orland members voted to approve Tentative Agreements reached for the General Unit and the Mid-Management Unit that provides a minimum 9% COLA over the next 24 months and 100% City-paid medical insurance for employees and dependents.
According to lead negotiator Steve Allen, who was supported at the table by UPEC stewards Deysy Guerrero (GU) and Ed Vonasek (MM), the first COLA will be 3% retroactive to 7-1-16, followed by 3% 7-1-17 and 3% 7-1-18. Separately, several classifications received market adjustments to bring their pay closer to area agencies, ranging from 12% to 30%. Term of the contract is 3 years running from 7-1-16 through 6-30-19.
The most difficult issue was insurance, with the City gaining reluctant agreement from Union members to shift its contribution from a higher benefit "Gold" plan to a lesser benefit "Silver" plan. However, the City agreed to pay 100% of the premium for "Gap" insurance in addition to 100% for the Silver plan, to cover the lesser benefit structure of the Silver plan. If it works as planned (we will watch carefully!), the City will save premium dollars for the combined "Silver/Gap" coverage, which is why the City was willing to put part of the savings toward salary increases. The Silver/Gap combined coverage is almost as good as the previous Gold plan. One deficiency for out-patient surgery being covered by the City with a self-funded account to cover employee expenses. Another deficiency, a higher deductible for prescription coverage ($200 annual deductible), will need to be paid by employees out of pocket.
The Orland City Council is expected to approve the new MOU's at the next Council meeting. Employees are looking forward to 3 months worth of retroactivity!