KC Council committee supports wage pact with city’s largest union

The Kansas City Council’s Finance Committee on Wednesday endorsed a new wage agreement with the city’s largest union that would extend through 2020.

The full City Council votes Thursday on the collective bargaining agreement, which would be retroactive to May 1 with Local 500 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Local 500 is the city’s blue-collar workers’ union and has an estimated 1,500 members, who do everything from filling potholes and answering animal control complaints to maintaining the city’s sewers and driving airport buses. It is the last municipal union to reach a new agreement with the city, following the firefighters’ and fire battalion chiefs.

But while this agreement, like those other agreements, buys the city a few years of labor peace, it also imposes added budget pressure because it gives employees more than the 2 percent annual raise that was contemplated in last year’s five-year financial plan. The estimated cost of the raises through April 2020 is $21.4 million.

Council members noted that the city values its employees, and said this was an agreement that both city management and union members could compromise on after very protracted negotiations.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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