2014-07-03 / Local News

Road workers get raises

The Leelanau County Road Commission on a vote of 3-0 at its regular meeting Tuesday approved a three-year contract for Teamsters Local 214, the bargaining unit that represents the commission’s 25 hourly employees.

The contract provides across-theboard raises, and changes the retirement system for future workers.

The 25 workers will receive raises of $1 per hour, bringing their base pay to $17.60 per hour and representing a 5.7 percent increase. All employees receive the same pay, regardless of seniority, although some are paid more for operating certain machinery or by acting as crew leaders, said Road Commission Chair Lee A. Bowen.

“I think it’s a fair contract for our men as well as for our board,” Bowen said. “We’re very appreciative of the good work that the men do.”

The contract was ratified by the bargaining unit on June 26. It went into effect on July 1.

“The group decided as a whole what the contract would be and it’s what everyone decided they wanted,” said Ron Howard, the group’s union steward. Howard declined to comment further.

The contract, for the first time for the Road Commission, creates two levels for retirement. All new hires will come under a defined contribution plan, which distributes funds into an employee’s account. Those already employed by the Road Commission will remain under a defined benefits plan, which is a traditional pension plan.

It was the first contract approved by unionized Road Commission workers since rejoining the Teamsters. Workers voted to join the Governmental Employees Labor Council some 10-15 years ago, Bowen said.

— by Patti Brandt

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