Labor negotiations on consent calendar for Grass Valley council |

Labor negotiations on consent calendar for Grass Valley council

There are no new business items or public hearings scheduled for this week’s meeting of the Grass Valley City Council. Nearly everything on the lineup is currently part of the consent calendar, meaning that none of it will be specifically discussed unless “pulled” by one of the council members.

Members of the public also have the right to request that the council pull specific consent-calendar items for discussion.

This week the city council will be reviewing a new memorandum of understanding with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers, Local 39 — a bargaining unit representing approximately 38 city employees.

The new MOU is effective from July 1, 2014 (earlier this year) through Oct. 1, 2015. It includes a one-time payment of $750 to Local 39 employees to help cover increasing medical costs. The new MOU also includes an increase in the employer medical contribution, or what portion of the employee’s insurance premiums get covered by the city.

“In a typical city, the city pays 80 percent and the employee pays 20 percent of the premium,” said Bob Richardson, city manager. “We saw a 24 percent increase in some of our premiums, and since the level of city support has remained frozen, the council may provide some additional compensation for health insurance.”

In addition to the one-time payout, the city is also increasing their health plan contributions by 14 percent — which should cover an estimated 75 percent of that cost increase experienced by city employees.

All of this is expected to have an estimated fiscal impact of $60,000 for the city’s bottom line, but only for the duration of this MOU. When it expires in October, 2015, the city’s contribution will revert back to the current rate.

City staff is also recommending that the council authorize fire chief Mark Buttron to purchase a new fire engine for the second time since passing Measure N. Staff reports indicate that the city hopes to purchase a third engine before the sales tax increase expires in eight years.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.

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