Vandalia and public works department reach agreement

Vandalia City Council approved an new agreement between the city and its public works department.

The city’s public works department planned to strike back in March, but did not because of negotiations going on at the time.

The Teamsters Local 957, which represents 18 Vandalia public works employees, planned to strike and picket beginning on March 2. The union filed its intent to strike and picket Feb. 20 with the State Employment Relations Board.

RELATED: Vandalia public works employees report for work after strike plans

A union representative could not be reached for comment on the new contract.

The contract is retroactive to Jan. 1 and provides a 2.5% cost of living increase for this year and next year. The agreement represents full and part-time employees in the public works department, including technicians, mechanics and clerical employees, the city said.

The contract also states that there will be no strikes of any kind during the term of the contract, which ends Dec. 31, 2021. Vandalia has the right to fire, demote, suspend or discipline employees for violating the no strike portion of the agreement. The city also promises not to lockout employees covered by the agreement.

The contract also provides an incentive for public works employees obtaining certain EPA certifications. The city would pay for certifications for a Wastewater Collection System Operator, a Water Distribution System Operator and a Certified Backflow Tester.

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