Long Beach has reached a tentative three-year labor agreement with the union representing 127 trash-collection workers, the city announced Wednesday.

The tentative deal between Service Employees International Union Local 721 and the city — running from Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2026 — would provide a range of wage and equity boosts, along with various lump-sum payments.

Among the deal’s major terms, the city said, are:

  •  An equity increase of 15% to step 1 of Refuse Operator I-IV, and Refuse Operator I- II Non-Career and salary ranges modified to ensure 5% differential between each salary step.
  •  General wage increases of 1% in the second year of the contract and 1.25% in the third year.
  •  One-time lump sum payments of $1,000 for SEIU employees hired on or after June 5, 2023 and who are subject to the city’s Recruitment Incentive Program and $4,315 for other SEIU employees.
  • Revisions to bereavement leave, paid parental leave, extension of vacation accrual maximum cap, sick leave, in lieu holiday, seniority of overtime scheduling and training and funding support for the Education Assistance Program.

The agreement also paves the way for other pay increases, such as higher classification pay increasing by between $1.60 and $2 hourly; front loader pay increasing by between $1.50 and $2.50 hourly; and trainer per diem pay increasing between $250 and $350 annually.

“This agreement recognizes the dignity of our hardworking refuse operators, who play a vital role in keeping our city clean and safe,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “I’m proud that we have landed on an agreement that demonstrates our commitment to equity, fair compensation and improved benefits.”

City Manager Tom Modica, added, “With equitable pay increases and enhancements for other employee benefits, this agreement will help with the retention of new refuse employees and help address longstanding feedback from longer-term, seasoned employees.”

Said Jenita Igwealor, the SEIU’s regional director, cities division: “This landmark contract between SEIU 721 members and the City of Long Beach is a testament to the grit and dedication of our members. In the same way that they show up day-in and day-out to provide the vital frontline services Long Beach residents depend on, so did they work tirelessly to secure a strong contract that uplifts their work, their families, and the communities they serve.”

The city said representatives from both sides met 11 times since August 2023, and that union members ratified the deal this past Friday. The tentative agreement will be presented to the City Council on Feb. 6.