The Lower Merion Township Workers Association (WA) ratified a tentative contract reopener that provides the addition of one year (2015) plus other provisions to the existing four-year labor contract (2011 – 2014) to result in a new five-year term of 2011 – 2015 with the Township of Lower Merion on Thursday, December 5th. The WA currently covers approximately 207 bargaining unit positions in Public Works, Parks, Parking Meters, as well as technical and administrative employees. Terms of the contract reopener are posted on the Township’s website as an attachment to the December 11th Administrative and Human Resources Committee agenda. The Committee will consider recommending approval of the contract to the Board of Commissioners that night. The Board would then consider the matter at its Board meeting on December 18th.
In summary, the labor contract reopener results in a total net new estimated cost of approximately +$262,000:
+2.25% base wage rate increase effective Jan. 1, 2015, for a total annual net new cost of approximately +$255,000 beginning in 2015.
-1% to the previous employee pension contribution rates (and -1% from the previous upside exposure rates) for the Non-Uniformed Pension Plan effective (and retroactive to) Jan. 1, 2013, except for future new hires, for a total one-time net new cost of approximately +$7,000 in 2013.
New lifetime $25,000 cap, per person, for infertility medications.
“This labor contract reopener was negotiated to create cost containment and cost certainty for 2015,” said Doug Cleland, Township Manager. “The proposed changes to the non-uniformed pension plan are possible due to the continuing strong financial condition of the pension fund.”
“I am pleased that we have been able to come to a one-year extension of our prior agreement with our non-uniformed labor union that will continue personnel cost stability and consistency in our Township organization,” added Elizabeth Rogan, Board President.
“The system continues to work,” noted Gary Grato, Workers Association President. “The extension preserves our important working conditions and benefits while providing cost savings to the Township and our citizens.”
Both parties called the contract reopener a reflection of their commitment to achieve a fair and balanced agreement through collective bargaining, and indicative of the positive working relationship shared between the Township and Workers Association.