City Council OKs New Bargaining Unit Contract

The Jamestown City Council approved a resolution accepting a new contract agreement with the Jamestown City Administrative Association retroactive to 2017 through 2021. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The Jamestown City Council has approved a new contract agreement with the Jamestown City Administrative Association (JCAA).

On Monday, the council approved the contract that is retroactive to 2017 and runs through 2021. The contract includes no salary increases for 2017, 2018 and 2019. The two bargaining units that have between 25-30 employees depending on the city’s budget, will receive a 2% pay increase in 2020 and 2021.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said the bargaining units include mid-level managers and some clerical workers and Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency (JURA) employees.

He said JURA is holding a meeting today where it’s expected the board will also approve the new contract. He added the unions approved the contract last week.

Teresi said the process to reach a new agreement demonstrates fair and reasonable negotiations between employees and management.

“It really was a solid contract for both ends of the negotiation table,” he said.

Parts of the new contract includes adding an additional salary step for longtime employees while erasing a lower step in the pay scale. Teresi said the new contract’s salary agreement will have about a $10,000 impact on future city budgets.

Teresi said the contract is potentially changing the future of the city-owned health insurance plan, which will be better for taxpayers. He said the two units of JCAA are the first to agree that new employees, as of Jan. 1, 2020, will join a new hybrid health care plan and will no longer be on the city-owned health care insurance. He added that the new plan has a higher deductible, but a lower employee contribution.

“Over time, they will be phased out of the city-owned (health care) plan,” Teresi said about JCAA employees.

Also, current employees will have a choice to stay in the city-owned plan or to join the new hybrid system. Teresi said he believes some younger employees might opt for the new hybrid plan.

The new contract also has the stipulation that all new hires will no longer be part of the city-owned health care plan once they reach Medicare eligibility. JCAA employees will join American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee (AFSCME) local 418 and the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) local 1000, who also have this stipulation in its last contract agreement.

As of the six employee bargaining units for city employees, JCAA’s two units, once all contracts have been signed, will be the only ones under a current contract. The contract for AFSCME and CSEA expired at the end of last year. The city’s contract with the International Association of Firefighters Local 1772, which represents city firefighters, and the Kendall Club Police Benevolent Association, which serves almost all members of the city’s police force, expired at the end of 2015.