Council to approve final Union contract and management agreement

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Tuesday’s City Council meeting should go fairly quickly as there are several resolutions that should pass and only a few items needing discussion.

Four awards will be presented by Mayor Al Litman and various City Hall staff for Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Employee of the Year and Special Employee Recognition Award.

Among those few items are the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Teamsters 14 Union, the Mesquite Fire & Rescue staff. It has been nearly a year spent in negotiations, while their last agreement had expired in 2013.

According to the cover sheet for this item on the agenda, “This proposed agreement for the first three years beginning July 2014, has a fiscal impact $44,363. This covers the two (2) Administrative Fire Department positions named in this agreement; Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief. The first year FY 2014, is a 7% increase for the Deputy Chief ($6,702 salaries and benefits) and 0% increase for the Fire Chief. Effective July 2015 and each year thereafter is a 5% increase for each position, provided they “meet expectations” on their employee performance evaluations in at least two (2) of the three (3) performance evaluation criteria.”

“A new residency requirement has been added requiring all new hires to live within a 15 mile radius of the City of Mesquite city limits. All new hires after the Agreement Ratification Date will contribute $200 a month to their health insurance premiums, longevity pay has decreased and the holidays have been revised.”

These adjustments will backdate to July 1, 2013 according to City Attorney Robert Sweetin, and will need to be renegotiated again prior to its expiration on June 30, 2016. At the Tech Review meeting Tuesday, Chief Kash Christopher and Deputy Chief Rick Resnick noted that the new residency requirement will allow three current personnel to be ‘grandfathered’ in and another six or seven will have up until September 1, 2015 to comply and move closer to Mesquite.

Full details on the agreements can be found in the Agendas & Minutes section of the City of Mesquite’s website, www.mesquitenv.gov.

The final two items set for the February 24 Council Meeting were to include a presentation from the Bureau of Land Management regarding public participation for plan revisions and other matters. However, as City Manager Andy Barton stated in the Tech Review, “there is a security issue,” and the BLM would not be attending the City Council meeting. Initially, the council was going to remove both items from the agenda, one for the presentation and the other for public comment regarding the presentation.

Councilman Kraig Hafen spoke, stating that things need to change and the public needs to be heard by the BLM on these matters.

After the Tech Review, the council and city staff met with City Attorney Robert Sweetin to discuss the issue.

In an email later Tuesday afternoon from City Liaison Aaron Baker, he stated that while the BLM will not be making a presentation, the council and/or city staff will allow comments and discussions of issues at hand that are Mesquite related.

The City Council meeting will begin at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at City Hall, 10 E. Mesquite Boulevard.

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