A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

City of Covington signs working agreement with AFSCME Union; negotiations began in late 2015

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer, Interim City Manager Loren Wolff and AFSCME Union members officially executed the signing of the AFSCME working agreement Thursday.

Covington Mayor Joseph U. Meyer and AFSCME Union President Charlie McCain at Thursday’s signing of the working agreement (provided photo).

AFSCME members present at the signing included President Charlie McCain, Dawn Bayless, Lonnie Johnson, Doug Matherly and Brian Watts. Additionally, City Solicitor/Assistant City Manager Frank Warnock and Public Services Director/Assistant City Engineer Rick Davis were present at the signing.

The Board of Commissioners approved the working agreement with the AFSCME Union Tuesday evening at the Legislative Commission meeting.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, Local 237 is one of three unions that have working agreements with the City of Covington. Its membership includes employees at the Public Services Department and other departments.

The term of the AFSCME agreement is from January 1, 2016 until December, 31, 2017.

Specific contract provisions include wage and salary adjustments for the AFSCME members. Members will receive a 2.5 percent increase on base pay for a six-month period in 2016; and, a 3.5 percent increase effective July 1, 2016.

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer stated, “The City is pleased to have reached this agreement. AFSCME members provide essential services to the residents of Covington. This agreement provides a foundation for improved employee morale and working conditions and better service for the people of Covington.”

Negotiations with AFSCME representatives began in the latter part of 2015.

Interim City Manager Loren Wolff stated, “The City would like to thank the AFSCME negotiation team led by City Solicitor/Assistant City Manager Frank Warnock, Public Services Director/Assistant City Engineer Rick Davis and Finance Analyst Lindy Jenkins for their hard work and collaboration.

Additional working agreement changes include the implementation of a drug-free workplace policy, the elimination of double overtime during call-out emergencies, and the implementation of a new health plan option termed reference-based pricing.

Public Services Director/Assistant City Engineer Rick Davis stated, “This is a win – win scenario for the City of Covington and the AFSCME Local 237 union. The process had always been professional and was a collaborative effort by all parties involved to get this deal done.”

The contract also addresses the issue of right-to-work legislation implemented by the State Legislature in its most recent legislative session.

As a result, the City and AFSCME representatives agreed to the removal of “Fair Share” agreement language. The agreement language had required non-union employees to pay their “fair share” of the costs of representation by the union in the past.

City of Covington

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