We had scheduled two bargaining dates with the employer, on August 11 and 26. Unfortunately the employer cancelled both sessions because they were unprepared and unable to get their bargaining team together.
However, your Union bargaining teams met on August 26 and reviewed our draft proposals, bargaining strategy and had general discussion about the bargaining process. Your bargaining team is made up of the following stewards:
Randy Marquis, Lisa Larson, Tracey Dillard, Cresdeen Roller, Megan Yerxa, Jessie Adkins, Eric Odonnell, Katie Burki, Terry Batts, Layne Griffin and Matt Martinson.
The City has agreed to meet every other Monday starting on September 21, 2014 until the end of the year. It is my hope that we will be able to reach an agreement prior to the end of the year. However, as always when working on improving wages, benefits, job security and working conditions at the City of Tacoma, the bureaucracy of the process takes time. Your bargaining committee asks for your patience, perseverance and solidarity behind your bargaining committee while we work on your collective bargaining agreement.
Lastly, I would like to update you on the progress of Joint Labor bargaining for your health care benefits. The City and Tacoma Joint labor have been bargaining since last year and meeting about 2 times a month in an effort to reach an agreement on your healthcare plans, including plan design and employee cost share. The process has been long and labor intensive. With that said, I am hopeful that we will reach an agreement that preserves a high-level benefit plan and minimizes employee premium cost share before the end of the year. Also, during this bargaining, the City has made proposals that attempt to take way bargaining rights that are afforded to the membership through the Joint Labor Agreement, obviously the Unions are working to maintain those rights.
As always if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact myself or one of the stewards