The Coast News Group

Encinitas approves new labor contracts

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas City Council unanimously approved a new labor agreement with its employees that will result in a series of pay raises over the next four years.

The four-year pact, which were tentatively approved by the city in June and ratified by the Service Employees International Union Local 221 last week, call for both union and non-union city employees to receive 1-percent raises both this year and the next fiscal year, and 2-percent raises in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Additionally, the agreement calls for employees to receive an additional $400 per year for healthcare benefits in 2016, and $200 in 2017, with a clause that allows the city to amend the amount depending on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act.

And finally, city public works employees will receive a $20 increase in their safety footwear reimbursement, which rises from $160 to $180.

All told, the new labor pact will cost the city a little over $1 million over the four years, according to a city staff report.

The city last updated its contract with SEIU in 2012, when it imposed terms on the labor group after yearlong negotiation ended in an impasse in May.

As part of the imposed terms, the city eliminated the Employer Paid Member Contribution as special compensation from the benefits package of the employees.

The council returned to the bargaining table with labor negotiators earlier this year.

The council is also negotiating an agreement with the city’s employees that are not represented by a labor union.