With the beginning of the new fiscal year employees expected to see a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in their paychecks.
Because we are bargaining the contract, and the amount of the COLA is one of the things we are negotiating, the cost of living adjustment will not appear until we have concluded bargaining. At this time we do not know when that will be.
Our COLA was rated the number one issue in the member survey response and MAT brown bags. Our proposal (below) is the result of an analysis of the accrued percentage of pay loss to members from one step and one cola freeze (we did not include a third freeze shared by all unions and management). The bargaining team deliberated and debated with great care to arrive at a reasonable increase, over the life of the contract, to put on the bargaining table.
The proposal we have made is that for the next three years, the COLA will be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus an additional 1% (with a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 5%, meaning we would not get less than 2% or more than 5% if the CPI fell outside that range, plus the 1%).
We are asking for the additional 1% each year to partially recoup the compounding payroll losses we took on the COLA freeze and step freeze during the last two contracts.
The CPI for this year is 2.7%, so if our proposal is successful, this year you would receive an increase of 2.7% plus 1% for a total of 3.7%.
Our chances for achieving this COLA rest with YOU. We need your Member Action Team support during the contract actions so the county knows we are communicating, we are engaged and we expect to be recognized for the financial sacrifices we took to support the County during the Great Recession.
Your work matters!
Local 88 President, Deirdre Mahoney-Clark