St. Louis City Council approved a new three-year contract with nine unionized workers on Tuesday.
The deal had already been ratified by union members earlier that day.
Nine people in the Department of Public Works and Water and Wastewater Department will receive 2 percent raises in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Current pay rates of $18.88, $21.64 and $23.23 per hour will go to $19.26, 22.07, and 23.69/hour on July 1.
Union members (represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 876) also receive an increase in the money they receive if they opt out of the city’s health insurance plan (from $1,000 to $1,150 per year). Currently, eight of the city’s 32 employees opt out of health insurance.
Union members also receive an increase in their twice-a-year clothing allowance from $350 to $400.
And they get “Opening Day of Michigan Firearms Deer Hunting Season” off as a paid holiday. This is a refinement of a change made in a past contract swapping a Veterans Day paid holiday with opening day of deer hunting season. The most recent change only makes the day off designation more specific.
A new contract for the city’s electrical workers is still being negotiated.
Problem buildings downtown
During council comments time, Councilman George Kubin raised the subject of two downtown buildings that need attention: The old bank building at corner of Mill and Saginaw and the flea market building across street from city hall.
“I think they’re fire hazards, both of them,” Kubin said. “They’re just full of junk.”
Mayor Jim Kelly said that there was a list of things that needed attention when he was first elected to city council in 1999 and the old bank building is the only item on that list that hasn’t been addressed.
City Manager Kurt Giles said he is “looking into what other communities have done regarding unused or underutilized buildings” with an eye on eventually doing something with the old bank building.
Speaking of problem properties, council members have recently lamented the state of a few unkempt residential properties, such as one on the corner of Saginaw and Pine.
“There have been instances where property owners in neighborhoods have been given time to come into compliance and make progress but do not fully comply and habitually fall back into the blight situation,” said City Manager Kurt Giles in an email. “In these cases, property owners are receiving notices of deadlines to become fully compliant or begin receiving citations and, if necessary, be subject to subsequent corrective actions.”
Mayor Jim Kelly, Vice Mayor Melissa Allen, council members George Kubin and Tom Reed and Jerry Church were present. There were no absences.
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