MetraPark workers will see pay raise under new contract

2014-06-05T17:00:00Z 2014-06-05T20:40:09Z MetraPark workers will see pay raise under new contractBy CLAIR JOHNSON The Billings Gazette

The Teamsters Local 190 and Yellowstone County have settled negotiations for MetraPark workers in a deal that calls for a five-year contract.

Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund, who is on the county’s negotiating team, said Thursday the contract is “front-loaded.”

The contract will have a 4.1 percent wage increase in the first year, a 3.5 percent wage increase the second year and 3.3 percent increases in the remaining three years, he said.

Teamsters ratified the contract offer after two negotiation sessions.

Jim Soumas, business representative for the Teamsters, said the workers approved the contract on Tuesday.

The Teamsters represent about 15 MetraPark maintenance workers.

Both Soumas and Ostlund said the talks involved some language changes that addressed scheduling flexibility.

The union asked that management be open to scheduling eight-hour and 10-hour shifts, Soumas said.

The contract leaves the decision with management, Ostlund said.

The county initially offered a two-year contract, and the Teamsters wanted a longer agreement, Ostlund said. So the county came back with a five-year deal, he said.

County talks with the Teamsters are continuing for about 80 workers at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility and about 29 employees in the road and bridge department.

“It looks like we’re moving forward with the other contracts,” Ostlund said.

Soumas said he thought all contact talks will be done by the end of the month, when they expire.

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