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2009 Media Releases


Date:
July 30, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


MAYOR COMMENDS EMPLOYEE UNIONS FOR COOPERATION
Average salary increase lowest in last 40 years

Mayor Chris Beutler today thanked City employee bargaining units for working with the City to hold the line on expenses during tough economic times. The salary increase represented by the union agreements for 2009 averages less than one percent. According to the State Department of Labor, the average salary increase in the Lincoln area from the first quarter of 2008 to the same period of 2009 was 1.9 percent.

The Mayor said he has asked City employees to make some sacrifices for all three of the budgets he has developed. "In previous years, I have asked them to pay higher deductibles on their health insurance," Beutler said. "In my first set of contract negotiations, I asked them to accept less than what they were entitled to by State law, and I made the same request this year. In each case, City employees have demonstrated to me that they have the public's interest at heart. They've worked with us, compromised where they could, and found solutions that recognized the budget challenges faced by taxpayers."

The bargaining units and their proposed settlements are:

  • LCEA - Lincoln City Employees Association - 1.28 percent salary increase
  • PAGE - Public Association of Government Employees - 1.75 percent salary increase
  • ATU - Amalgamated Transit Union - 1.85 percent increase
  • IAFF - International Association of Firefighters - no salary increase, but will receive benefit changes equal to less than .5 percent of salary
  • LPU - Lincoln Police Union - 1.25 percent salary increase
  • E class - unrepresented (similar to LCEA) - 1.28 percent salary increase
  • X class - excluded (similar to PAGE) - 1.75 percent salary increase
  • M class - managers (were E class until 1990) - still being negotiated.

The City Council approved the contracts for LCEA, PAGE and ATU July 27, but the Council delayed action on the M class contract. Negotiations have been completed with IAFF and LPU, and those contracts will go to the Council soon.

Beutler said City employees have been asked to do more with less for a number of years. His budgets have reduced the City workforce by more than six percent, while the City has continued to grow. "It the productivity and commitment of our City employees that have allowed my Administration to undertake major re-organizations that have saved taxpayers millions of dollars," Beutler said. "They are the reason I was able to offer a budget for next year that increased by only .04 percent."


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