FD Council approves pact with AFSCME

A new labor contract for 54 Fort Dodge municipal employees was approved by the City Council Monday.

The two-year deal with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 goes into effect July 1.

The employees will receive a 1.25 percent raise on July 1, a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1, 2014, and a 2.25 percent raise on July 1, 2014.

The workers can continue to use the current health insurance plan, but they will pay 8 percent of the premium. They will also face higher deductibles of $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a family. Now, those deductibles are $100 for an individual and $200 for a family.

The workers can opt for a high deductible plan with a health savings account. Under that plan, the deductibles will be $2,500 for an individual and $5,000 for a family.

The health insurance provisions are identical to those in the city’s contract with International Association of Firefighters Local 622, which was approved last year.

The AFSCME contract includes public works employees, clerks in the utility billing office, Police Department clerks, parks maintenance workers and plant operators at the John W. Pray Water Facility. Those workers were previously represented by the United Steel Workers, but they left that union in August 2012.

Councilmen Mark Taylor and Don Wilson were absent from the otherwise unanimous vote to approve the contract. There was no discussion of it during the council meeting.

The union members approved it on April 22.

In other business, the council:

  • Hired Stony Creek Landscapes, of Webster City, to maintain landscaping in the public rights of way on Fifth Avenue South, Kenyon Road and North 32nd Street, at a cost of $12,860.
  • Gave final approval to the 2013 Fort Dodge Consolidated Urban Revitalization Area, which includes property tax incentives for building new houses.
  • Approved the second reading of a plan to streamline the process of getting permission for a downtown sidewalk cafe or retail area.