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Jan 29, 2013

SOMERVILLE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION VOTE TO APPROVE NEW CONTRACT

Agreements Cover Multi-Year Period, Approves Retroactive Wage Increases to 2010

SOMERVILLE - Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced today that the membership of three bargaining units, A, B and D comprising the Somerville Municipal Employees Association (SMEA) voted last week to approve new labor contracts extending through 2016.  On January 24, 2013, members of the SMEA and Mayor Curtatone approved six separate collective bargaining agreements that cover a six-year term, from 2010 to 2016, and ratified the agreement after a vote of 177 in favor and 11 opposed. The agreement approves a 14 percent wage increase retroactively from 2010 through 2016. 

"We have been working hard to come to an agreement that is in the best interests of the City and of the union membership, and I want to thank Ed Halloran and his members for successfully negotiating a contract that we believe reflects those interests," said Mayor Curtatone.  "Our City employees are dedicated, hard-working and diligent, and I am glad to be able, along with Bob Collins in our Legal Department and Bill Roche and his team in Personnel, to finally reach an amicable solution for all involved." 

"This was a tribute to all efforts on both sides of the table. I would like to thank the Mayor and his staff for making the agreement a reality," said Ed Halloran, SMEA President.  "We appreciate everyone's hard work and diligence during these negotiations and look forward to working together in the future. I would also thank the Aldermen for their support during the negotiations. I realize they were eager to see this contract ratified." 

For each unit of the union, A, B and D, two agreements were reached, one retroactively covering the time period from July 1, 2010 through June 30 2013, with the second agreement extending through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. The agreement also reforms overtime pay and health insurance matters, gives snow removal crews a guaranteed six hour rest within a 24-hour period during snow emergencies, and allows for annual wage increases. The contract also implements routine labor management communication meetings to improve city-wide labor efficiencies. The new agreement also settles the majority of pending legal action between the SMEA and the City of Somerville.

"The City hopes that with the conclusion of these negotiations and the establishment of regular labor-management committee meetings we can, together, build a model of cooperation for our future," said the City's Chief Labor Counsel, Robert Collins. "In this agreement, we continue our trend of positive dealings municipal unions and I commend SMEA leadership for their commitment to working in good faith and mutual respect to craft labor agreements that provide good value to workers and the City."