RACINE — City officials have approved their first union contract of the post-Act 10 era.
It’s one page long.
The City Council on Tuesday voted 12-0 to authorize the 2013 collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Racine Professional Employees Association.
The contract passed with no discussion, and was approved with a handful of other items as part of the Finance and Personnel Committee report.
The one-year agreement, which is fewer than 300 words long, basically exists to set forth the RPEA’s pay increase for 2013, which is 0 percent, explained Deputy City Attorney Scott Letteney on Tuesday.
“For all practical purposes, they are non-represented employees,” said Letteney of the union, which represents about 30 professional employees, including engineers, accountants and building inspectors.
Signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in June 2011, Act 10 essentially eliminated collective bargaining for all public employees except police and firefighters.
“The only thing general employees can bargain for now are total base wages,” Letteney explained.
The RPEA’s last contract was 33 pages long, and discussed things like benefits and work hours, all things that now will be included in the city’s new Employee Handbook.
The 124-page manual discusses a host of employee and work policies, such as performance evaluations, sick leave and safety rules, that will no longer be addressed by many union contracts.
The document has yet to be formally reviewed and approved by aldermen, but Finance and Personnel Committee Chairman Q.A. Shakoor II explained Tuesday that the committee will start reviewing the handbook — section by section — over the next few weeks.
“We are going to break it down into five categories,” said Shakoor to his fellow aldermen just before the council meeting adjourned. “If you are interested, you want to make sure to get involved.”
In other items, a resolution permitting the administration to negotiate a one-year contract with Skies Fall Media Group to run CAR25 was approved 10-2. Aldermen Mike Shields and Krystyna Sarrazin voted “no.”
The resolution should have been placed on the Feb. 20 City Council agenda, but was mistakenly left off by the City Attorney’s Office, City Administrator Tom Friedel said.
The resolution language mirrors committee recommendation language that aldermen approved 10-4 at the Feb. 20 City Council meeting.