Two Unions Ratify New County Contract
A third union has yet to ratify agreement that promises no layoffs in return for forgoing raises and increased pension contributions for new hires.
UPDATED (11:33 a.m.)—Unions representing sheriff's deputies and county firefighters and paramedics ratified a contract extension that promises no layoffs in return for salary and pension concessions.
A third union that tentatively reached the same agreement has not yet sent the contract to it's members for ratification.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 and Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters each approved the new contract in separate votes on June 17 and 22 respectively, according to a statement released by the county.
The statement said the contract was ratified by members of the sheriff's deputy and firefighters unions by 96 and 98 percent respectively, but does not indicate how many total members voted.
The county announced earlier this month that three unions representing deputies, firefighters and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents county employees in skilled trade and laborer positions, had all tentatively agreed to the contract.
In a statement Thursday, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said AFSCME had not yet forwarded the contract to its members for ratification.
Officials at the union were not immediately available for comment.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two unions will forgo cost-of-living raises through June 30, 2014.
Employees will continue to receive scheduled increment and longevity increases.
Employees covered by the the unions that are hired after July 1 will also have to make larger contributions to their pensions.
New deputies will contribute 10 percent of their salary toward their pension—a 2 percent increase over the rate paid by current employees.
New firefighters will also contribute 10 percent to their retirement—up from 8.5 percent.
The new contracts extend the agreement on health care benefits reached in 2010.
Note: This story has been updated to correct information regarding the AFSCME unions decision to ratify. The union will ask members to approve the contract but has not yet held a vote. Patch regrets the error.