83% approval with improved wages and benefits
In a unique environment of cooperation, Utility Workers 335 and Missouri American Water Company have negotiated a new five-year contract in just over a week of bargaining.
The new agreement, one of the best the union has ever negotiated with Missouri American, includes a host of new benefits as well as long sought wage increases, Local 335 President Allan Bathon said.
The contract, recommended by the Negotiating Committee, passed with the support of 83 percent of voting members, 181-37.
Bathon paid special tribute to the negotiation committee who put in long hours, before and during talks, to ensure members’ concerns were understood and heard.
The agreement provides for a three percent wage increase in the first year and 2.5 percent the next four years, improvement in shift premium determinations that will boost paychecks, unused vacation roll-over, improvements to vacation leave language, an increase in members’ boot allowance, a new safety glass benefit, the addition of two floating holidays, improved Sunday pay premiums, a $2 an hour premium over regular wages for inspectors monitoring outside contractors and improved sick leave benefits.
“The difference is the new management running the company,” Bathon said. “They recognize that their workforce is vital to their mission and wanted to make sure our members were treated fairly and equitably. We appreciated their positive approach to these contract negotiations. It bodes well for the future for all concerned.”