MID, union reach deal on contract

jsmith@mercedsunstar.comApril 2, 2013 

After less than two months of negotiations, Merced Irrigation District management and leaders of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have reached a conditional agreement that would boost wages and benefits for the district's 90 union workers.

"A tentative agreement has been agreed to between the district and IBEW," said Charley Souders, business representative with IBEW Local 1245. "Now it goes out for a ratification vote to the bargain unit."

MID officials declined to comment.

The terms of the agreement will be submitted to the bargaining unit for a simple majority vote. The MID board of directors also must approve the deal.

Under the contract, which would run from April through September 2016, union employees would see a 2 percent wage increase in 2014 and 2015.

Employees also would receive bonus pay of up to 2.5 percent of regular wages plus $500 to be paid out in April. Employees would receive a half-percent bonus to be paid out in 2016.

Workers also would see their health and welfare coverage benefit levels increase. Benefit levels would be reset to include monthly premium contribution of $50 for a single employee, $100 for an employee and partner and $150 for a family.

The union made concessions during the last bargaining session in regard to wages, retirement and other areas, according to union officials. The union's contract expired at the end of last month.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.

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