City Unions, Council Poised to Approve Labor Contracts

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Byline: CITY BEAT/SPRINGFIELD By Matt Cooper The Register-Guard

The city is making progress in forging new contracts with its labor unions.

The fire department has ratified a contract and three other groups - police, public works/maintenance workers and employees in general services - plan to vote on proposals in the coming weeks, Human Resources Director Bill Spiry said. The City Council hopes to approve all new packages at a meeting Sept. 15.

In an effort to control costs, the city successfully pushed for the inclusion of a new health-insurance plan that will limit what it pays in premiums, Spiry said.

On the other hand, Spiry said, the city acquiesced to the unions' push for raises.

The general services employees would see raises of 2 percent to 3 percent over a three-year contract, and the public works/maintenance workers will see raises of about 2 percent, Spiry said.

The police department, meanwhile, would see salary increases of 2 percent to 3 percent every six months over a contract that extends to 2006, Spiry said.

The department's salaries have been about 9 percent below those paid in the comparable cities of Medford, Bend, Albany, Corvallis and Tigard. With the new contract, "this brings us into that median range," Spiry said.

Out of the pool

Willamalane Park and Recreation District's two swim centers will undergo annual maintenance in September, but patrons still will have opportunities to swim and play.

The Willamalane Park Swim Center, 1276 G St., will be closed for annual maintenance Monday through Sept. …