Vandalia union employees won’t strike Tuesday, will seek negotiations with city

The city of Vandalia’s unionized street and water department employees “have decided to report to work (Tuesday) and not to engage in a work stoppage,” according to a statement released late Monday by Teamsters Local Union No. 957.

The union said last week that the 18 workers planned to strike Tuesday if no contract agreement was reached by then, after more than six months of negotiations.

On Monday, the union pointed to Vandalia City Manager Dan Wendt’s comments that he was hopeful for an agreement.

“The bargaining unit employees represented by Local 957 are willing to give the City Manager an opportunity to follow through on his ‘hope’ to reach an agreement with them to avoid a work stoppage,” the statement said. “The bargaining unit employees have asked Local 957 to schedule additional negotiation sessions as soon as possible.”

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City officials said last week they have offered wage increases, but not to the extent the union has requested. Alan Weeks, recording secretary/business agent for the union, said last week that there were other issues, such as overtime rules and insurance benefits.

Wendt again expressed optimism after the union’s statement Monday.

“I am pleased that our team of public servants have indicated that they will report to work tomorrow,” Wendt said. “The City of Vandalia is committed to reaching an agreement that is beneficial to both employees and taxpayers.”

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