City, union settle labor issue

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

XENIA — The City of Xenia and its public service department workers agreed on a new contract this week.

After a four-hour negotiation session Tuesday, members of the AFSCME Ohio Counsel 8, Local 101 ratified an agreement, giving them a 6.25 percent wage increase over three years. City council unanimously approved it Thursday.

“We’re ecstatic to have it done,” City Manager Brent Merriman said. “More than anything, to come to an amenable resolution where both sides felt like we got a good deal.”

The resolution ended months of negotiations and a possible impasse. The workers asked for a 6.75 percent increase spread out over three years — similar to what public safety workers received — while during negotiations the city arrived at a final offer of 6 percent over three years.

In a report submitted by an independent fact-finder, an increase of 6.5 percent over three years was recommended. It was accepted by the union, but city council voted to reject it at its July 14 meeting.

Had the sides declared an impasse, the city could have implemented a contract with its last offer and the union could have accepted it or gone on strike. The union had been working without a contract, which expired at the end of January.

The contract is retroactive to Feb. 1 and Merriman said city also agreed to pay the employees retroactively, meaning they will receive their pay increase beginning Feb. 1 and not the date it was ratified.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.