Burlington City Council OKs contract that gives union workers raises

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The Burlington City Council on Monday approved a five-year contract with most of its union employees.

The city’s new contract keeps almost all of the permissive language and gives union employees a 2.5% raise for each of the contract’s five years.

“All sides agreed (the contract was) fair and equitable,” Mayor Jon Billups explained.

With the exception of police officers and firefighters, all of the city’s union workers are a part of the American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees Local 828, with Burlington Public Library employees who are a part of the AFSCME union submitting a separate contract to the library board.

These union negotiations mark the first between the city and AFSCME since sweeping changes were made to Iowa Code Chapter 20 in 2017, when the Legislature removed most union protections granted to government workers and made most provisions of Chapter 20 optional. The only provisions of union contracts that remain mandatory under are wages and the length of the contract.

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