County, Teamsters reach agreement on foregoing raises

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Indian River County Board of County Commissioners has approved an agreeement reached with the Teamsters Union to forego raises in exchange for reinstating 10 positions cut in the fiscal year 2010-2011 budget.

Teamsters Local 769 workers were due $437,000 in raises negotiated in their collective bargaining agreement, but voted to preserve jobs rather than accept the raises. The two sides met a number of times at sometimes contentious meetings to reach the agreement, which the union has already ratified.

“There are going to be 10 positions, eight of which were filled and they have been notified pending board approval their jobs have been saved,” said county Human Resources Director Jim Sexton. “We haved posted the other two positions.”

The agreement involved filled and unfilled positions and workers who had been notified of layoffs and wanted to continue employment have been able to secure work.

“Of those that wanted to be placed, they have been placed,” Sexton said.

The county also agreed that if future layoffs were required this year, they would work on a furlough plan with the union.

“In ’09-’10, they had give up their merit pay and step pay increases and I would just like to commend the employees for stepping up and foregoing their raises,” said County Commissioner Peter O’Bryan.

At the meeting Tuesday, commissioners also voted 3-2 to sunset a provision enacted last July to give preference in the bidding process to local companies. Commissioners Gary Wheeler, Bob Solari and O’Bryan voted to kill the provision saying in part that the rule was too restrictive and could prevent the county from receiving the best bids possible. Commissioners Joe Flescher and Wesley Davis voted against ending giving preference to local bidders.

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