Government and Human Resources

Labor agreements enter county’s approval process

November 13, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Three expiring labor agreements have entered the approval process with Kent County.

New deals with the Kent County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Association, Teamsters State, County and Municipal Workers – Public Health Nurses and United Auto Workers Local 2600 – General Unit were approved by the Kent County Commission Legislative & Human Resources Committee.

The agreements must now be approved by the Finance and Physical Resources Committee Nov. 17 and the full board of commissioners Dec. 3.

The requirement to pay union dues will be deleted in all three deals, as required by the Michigan Freedom to Work statute.

All three agreements also include a new, insured long-term disability program to replace the pension plan non-duty disability program.

Through the terms of the new agreements, the county will see an increase to salary and benefit costs of $2,618,495.

The new deal with the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Association will affect approximately 30 employees for 2016 and 2017.

Included in the deal will be 2 percent wage increases both years. The employee’s share of the health care premiums will increase from 17.5 percent to 20 percent, and $250 single and $500 family deductibles would be added to the HMO plan. The $25 per pay period health care contribution for employees whose spouses decline health care coverage by their employers will be deleted.

The employee pension plan contribution cap will increase from 8.5 percent of pay to 9.5 percent in 2017.

The total two-year increase to salary and benefit costs is $176,753.

The Teamsters State, County and Municipal Workers – Public Health Nurses will see a three-year deal stretching through 2018, with 2 percent wage increases each year, affecting 55 employees.

The agreement features similar health care adjustments, but also includes that, in 2018, the out-of-pocket maximum under the Kent County health care plans will increase by $1,000, with a corresponding $1,000 reduction of prescription out-of-pocket maximum to maintain compliance with the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.  

The three-year increase to salary and benefit costs is $329,893.

The UAW Local 2600 – General Unit deal is also three years, with 2 percent wage increases annually. It affects 435 employees.

It features the same agreements as the Public Health Nurses deal, with the addition of a second wage tier for employees hired on or after July 1, 2016.

The cost increase for the three-year increase is $2,111,839. 

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