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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 5 

 Meeting Date:  June 27, 2000

Subject/Title:     Amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and its Recognized Bargaining Units, Department Heads and Mid-Managers for Fiscal Years 2000/01 through 2002/03

Submitted by:    Jon Elam, City Manager; Patti Standley, Human Resources Manager

Approved by:     Jon Elam, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt a resolution ratifying the amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and its recognized bargaining units, Department Heads and Mid-Managers for fiscal years 2000/01 through 2002/03.  Funds for fiscal year 2000/01 have been included in the approved City Budget.

PREVIOUS ACTION

None

BACKGROUND

Meet and confer sessions between Management Staff and the City’s various bargaining units and employee groups began April 3, 2000 and continued through June 1, 2000.  Staff and the employee representatives are pleased to present the Council with three-year labor proposals.  

The three-year proposals provide predictability for all parties concerned with respect to core benefit items and in addressing wage increases.  The proposal contains provisions for up to three re-openers.  The first re-opener is relative to wage increases based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April of each year.  Should CPI equal more than 5% in year two and three of the agreements, the City and employee units will meet and confer.  The second re-opener applies to health insurance if the premium for Kaiser full family increases by more than 10%.  The third re-opener provides an opportunity for Management and employee units to discuss a matching deferred compensation contribution, for non-management employees in 2001/02, if the 3% @ 55 retirement plan does not become an optional benefit under CalPERS. 

City Management Staff is pleased that the proposal includes a reduction to the number of holidays on the City’s Holiday Schedule.  The labor proposals provide that City offices remain open on Lincoln’s Birthday in February and Admissions Day in September.  Staff and the employee groups reached agreement to convert one of the holidays to 8 hours of vacation accrual and the other would be converted to an 8-hour Floating holiday to be scheduled off in the same manner as vacation time.

All of the units expressed their appreciation of the City Council’s efforts related to the salary adjustments that have been implemented since July 1, 1999.  Cost of Living Adjustments requested for July 1, 2000 focused on the continued use of the April CPI, which resulted in a 3.6% increase from April 1999 to April 2000.  All units agreed that using this method to measure a consistent annual adjustment was fair.

Health Insurance Premiums were a top priority across the board.  While the bargaining units and employee groups proposed that the City tie its contribution to the premium of full family Kaiser at any given time, Management Staff proposed to continue the cost-sharing of premium increases in the same manner as last year.  The City would increase its contribution to equal the amount of full family Kaiser effective July 1, 2000.  When the rates increase again January 1, 2001, the City will share the premium increase up to $25 per month through June 30, 2001.  The same method would apply in year two and three of the agreements.

Management Staff and employee representatives will continue to meet and confer to finalize a Catastrophic Leave Policy.  This policy would provide for the continuation of full salary based on donated leave when a fellow employee has a disabling illness or injury that extends beyond 30 calendar days and is certified by a physician.

Supplemental Life Insurance, paid by employees through payroll deduction, is an optional benefit that the groups requested.  There is no cost to the City for this benefit.

This year, several of the groups were interested in discussing the implementation of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  This program, available through Contra Costa County Municipal Risk Management Insurance Authority, provides counseling services (8 sessions per family member, per issue) on a wide variety of subjects from substance abuse to financial planning.  As the City of Brentwood would be part of the pool of cities that provide this benefit to their employees, the cost is just $5,000 for the year to cover all benefited employees.

Military Service Credit as Public Service is an item that was brought to the table by the Public Works Association for discussion.  This optional benefit allows employees that have had active military or merchant marine service prior to employment, the opportunity to purchase up to four years of service credit.  This may be elected by qualifying employees and is their own expense.  As there is no cost to the City the option will be made available to employees in all bargaining units and employee groups.

AB 2642 – CalPERS 2% @ 50 for Miscellaneous Employees is currently under discussion before the State Legislature.  If it becomes available, the City agrees to request an actuarial valuation and reopen negotiations to discuss implementation of a contract amendment.  If AB 2642 does not become available for fiscal year 2001/02, the City agrees to meet and confer to discuss a matching deferred compensation contribution for the City’s non-sworn employees.

The top priority for the Brentwood Police Officer’s Association (BPOA) is implementation of the new CalPERS 3% @ 50 Formula for Safety.  The optional benefit provides 3% of salary for each year of service credit, up to a maximum retirement benefit of 85% of salary.  An employee may qualify for the maximum benefit after 29 years of service with a covered agency.  If an employee began their career at age 21 with a covered agency, they could reach the maximum benefit by age 50.  The existing 2% @ 50 Formula for Safety requires an employee to work at least 32 years to receive the maximum 85% benefit and if their career begins when they are 21 years of age, they will not qualify for the maximum benefit until they reach age 55.  The BPOA stressed to City Management that this benefit will not only enhance the benefits package of our existing Safety staff but will serve the City in its efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified Police Officers in a very tight labor market.

The Mid-Manager Group requested an increase of the City’s matching deferred compensation contribution from $65/month to $150/month.  City Management countered and the group agreed to increase the contribution to $80/month in year one, $95/month in year two, and $110/month in year three.  This benefit also applies to Department Heads and the City Manager.

The Mid-Manager Group also requested uniform guidelines for work schedule flexibility to apply to Exempt employees so designated by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In an effort to be accountable to Brentwood’s taxpayers, some City departments have required Exempt staff to utilize accrued leave for appointments even though staff actually worked more than 8 hours that day.  These guidelines provide a fair alternative for these Exempt employees to make up short absences from the office during the same workweek.

The Miscellaneous Office Unit includes four employees at the Police Department that now wear uniforms.  The Unit requested a uniform allowance of $500 per year for these individuals.  The Chief of Police and City Management agreed that was fair since the uniforms are now required.

Public Works requested a revision to the meal allowance provision that is currently included in their MOU.  The section would be revised to increase the meal allowance from $8.00 to $12.00.   A meal allowance would be available when an employee works unscheduled overtime at least three hours before or after a regularly scheduled workday; or when four consecutive unscheduled hours are worked between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Management is pleased with the three-year agreements that are before you for your consideration.  The wage increase and benefit enhancements will aid our efforts in attracting and retaining a top-notch workforce in what has now become a very tight labor market.

The estimated cost for the above salary and benefits adjustments is equal to 5.6% of the City’s total 2000/01 wages and benefits budget.  Funds for this were included in the recently approved 2000-2001 City Budget.

Please refer to the attached chart for a summary of salary and benefits adjustments across all bargaining units and employee groups.

RESOLUTION NO.

 A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD RATIFYING THE AMENDMENTS TO THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE CITY AND ITS RECOGNIZED BARGAINING UNITS, DEPARTMENT HEADS AND MID-MANAGERS FOR FISCAL YEARS 2000-2003.

            WHEREAS, The Brentwood Miscellaneous Office Employees’ Association, Brentwood Police Officer’s Association, Public Works Employees’ Association, Department Heads and Mid-Management employees have met with the City Manager and staff and conferred in good faith regarding wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment, and

            WHEREAS, this Memorandum of Understanding is entered into pursuant to the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (California Government Code Sections 3500-3510) and has been jointly prepared by the aforementioned entities. 

            NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby adopts a resolution and approves the 2000-2003 Memorandum of Understanding with the aforementioned Employees’ Associations, Department Heads and Mid-Management employees and authorizes the terms and conditions therein to be implemented effective July 1, 2000.

           PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on June 27, 2000 by the following vote:

            AYES:        

NOES:        

ABSENT:   

                        Quintin L. Kidd

                        Mayor

ATTEST:

Karen Diaz, CMC

City Clerk

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