AFSCME pay increases of 5% to 18% in first year OK’d by Bloomington city council in 2023 salary ordinance

The recently approved four-year collective bargaining agreement between the city of Bloomington and its AFSCME union is now covered in the city’s salary ordinance.

At its final meeting of the year, on Dec. 21, Bloomington’s city council approved a change to the salary ordinance that sets pay for city employees next year.

The acronym for the union name stands for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union includes workers in utilities, the street and fleet divisions of public works, parks and recreation, sanitation, and the animal shelter, among others.

It’s AFSCME workers who plow the snow, salt the streets and empty the trash carts that residents set out every week.

Based on a comparison of the new AFSCME contract with the previous four-year agreement , in the first year of the new accord, there’s a pay increase for union members that ranges from 5 percent to about 18 percent, depending on the position. [2023-2026 AFSCME contract] [2019-2022 AFSCME contract]

In the second year of the new contract, the pay increase is 5 percent. In the final two years of the contract, which runs from 2023 through 2026, the pay increase is 3.1 percent.

The city council’s action came on a 9–0 vote taken at its Dec. 21 meeting.

The council’s action did not approve the contract—that step had already been completed through negotiations between the union and Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s administration. The council’s action just put the requirements of the contract into local law. Continue reading “AFSCME pay increases of 5% to 18% in first year OK’d by Bloomington city council in 2023 salary ordinance”

Consultant on Bloomington boards, commissions: Uniform process, mergers recommended

On Wednesday, the city of Bloomington released a 38-page report from the Novak Consulting Group with recommendations on revising the structure of the city’s 49 different boards and commissions and improving the way their work is supported.

The image links to a .pdf of the Novak Consulting Group report.

The report was presented on Wednesday night to Bloomington’s city council by Novak’s Jonathan Ingram. The city paid Novak $38,900 for the work.

The council gave the report an uneven response.

Many of the recommendations involve standardizing the way boards and commissions operate, so that support staff, current members, applicants for appointments, and the watching public have a uniform and reliable experience.

Drawing the attention of city councilmembers were recommendations on merging some of the city’s boards and commissions with dedicated constituencies. One example is the recommended consolidation of the parking commission, the bicycle and pedestrian safety commission, and the traffic commission.

Another proposed merger would combine the commission on sustainability and the environmental commission.

Councilmember Ron Smith gave an enthusiastic response, saying, “It was a great report. Fantastic.” He added, “I’ve long thought that we have too many boards and commissions, and they could be consolidated.”

Less sanguine was councilmember Steve Volan, who called the report “very interesting” before establishing that Novak had been hired by the mayor’s office, not the city council, to do the work. Volan asked Ingram how the project had been defined: Was the main goal to reduce staff time devoted to supporting boards and commissions? Continue reading “Consultant on Bloomington boards, commissions: Uniform process, mergers recommended”

Half-mile segment of trail from Karst Farm Park to Ellettsville to get built

A stretch of the Karst Farm Greenway, from the Loesch Road Trailhead north to Woodyard Road, will get constructed by E & B paving company sometime in 2022. The work will probably be finished around August.

The non-motorized path will be 10 feet wide.

The contract with E & B paving company was approved by Monroe County’s three-member board of commissioners at its regular Wednesday meeting. Continue reading “Half-mile segment of trail from Karst Farm Park to Ellettsville to get built”

Police union votes to accept Bloomington offer, city council consideration not yet scheduled

Bloomington police officers have voted, albeit reluctantly, to accept the city’s most recent contract offer, according to the president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Paul Post.

cropped 11-13-2019 cops badges IMG_0098
A close-up of  a BPD officer’s uniform at the Nov. 14, 2019 meeting of the Bloomington city council.  Under city code, the  police chief, or their designee, is the sergeant of arms at the city council, so an officer is always assigned to meetings. (Dave Askins/Beacon) 

Police officers have been working during 2019 under an “evergreen” clause of their contract, which expired at the end of 2018.

Post told The Beacon that the voting by the union membership was concluded. An official acceptance of the city’s proposal was sent on Thursday, Post said.

The latest city offer was conveyed at an Oct. 24 meeting. According to Post, both the mediator and the union’s legal counsel had recommended that the union membership vote yes.

Without an agreement before the end of the year, Bloomington police officers would start 2020 without a contract. Post said that union members did not want to lose the protections of a contract. Continue reading “Police union votes to accept Bloomington offer, city council consideration not yet scheduled”