City and employees reach pay agreement on time

Rockford City Manager Michael Young said he was pleased to provide the City Council with fair agreements on time for City staff and the police department (see related story on page 1).

“Rarely will you hear a city manager say that
negotiations were a pleasure to go through. We have an excellent police department and staff who understand what tough times we are going though,” he said to council on Monday, July 20. Young was pleased the agreements were reached in a timely fashion. “You don’t have to look far to see a lot of contracts that weren’t settled on time.”

The city employees and police department work on a three-year employment agreement. According to Young, negotiations were not characterized by fighting back and forth as is reported in many such contract settlements. “It wasn’t as if we said yes to everything they asked for,” Young, who negotiated on behalf of the city, commented. “There were things they said no to and there were things I said no to.”

Young said one of the biggest decisions was how to compensate city crews who have to come in after a heavy snow and plow the streets. In past years the employee was sent home after their normal number of hours, which they didn’t feel was fair since they had to get up in the middle of the night and operate a 10,000 pound snow truck with no increase in pay from their normal work schedule. Negotiations provided for some overtime when crews have to come in at unusual hours to deal with heavy snowfall. If the employee comes in two nights in a row they will receive two hours of overtime but still be sent home for safety reasons.

Steve Jazwiec said he was proud that the City is in a position to offer employees a raise despite trying economic times. Young said the contract was fair.

      Rockford Mayor Chi Chi Rogers joked Council would give itself a ten percent raise (of nothing).

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