Tentative Agreement Reached With Long Beach's Largest Labor Union

Long Beach officials have reached a tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists, the city’s largest labor union, which represents employees who provide core city services, according to a press release.

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The agreement will allow a non-pensionable one-time payment equal to 3 percent of the employee's’ base salary from the 12 previous months, and does not include any ongoing obligations, the release stated.

"This agreement is a good deal for Long Beach because we don't increase salaries and pensions, but instead provide some one-time support to the hard working men and women who clean our streets, fix our sidewalks, maintain our parks, and help our families in our libraries,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I want to thank the IAM leadership for stepping up and working with us to craft a responsible and balanced contract."

The agreement also retroactively extends the current contract for a one-year period, from October 1, 2014 through September, 30 2015, making it the third amendment to the IAM agreement, which was originally approved in October of 2007.

“While The Union is disappointed in the proposal because it does not reflect the value of our members, nor their contributions toward making Long Beach a great city, we are hopeful the City of Long Beach will work the IAM toward bringing about fairness, respect, and equity for the men and women who make this city run,” stated Richard Suarez, the union’s chief negotiator.

If union members approve of the agreement during a scheduled vote on Monday, August 31, the agreement will then go before the Long Beach City Council for final approval on Tuesday, September 1.

City officials stated the one-time cost of the agreement for the 2015 fiscal year is $1.9 million in the general fund, and will be funded by the general fund surplus.

The agreement will also impact the city’s special funds—which benefits departments such as the Long Beach Airport, Harbor, Water, and Gas & Oil—to the tune of $3.8 million.

The IAM represents about 3,500 city employees who provide services such as trash collection, library services, water and gas utilities, and public health services.

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