D.C. 47 approves 8-year labor agreement

Posted: March 07, 2014

With an overwhelming majority of ayes in a voice vote, the union representing the city's white-collar workforce accepted a new eight-year contract Wednesday night.

"They are very happy, they have money in their pockets," said Frederick Wright, president of AFSCME District Council 47, which represents 3,600 employees, including nurses, librarians, and social workers.

The agreement, signed by Mayor Nutter and Wright on Feb. 25, ends a five-year contract dry spell for D.C. 47 and is described by both sides as a win-win.

Although the pact covers 2009 to 2017, members won't receive any retroactive pay. They will, however, get a $2,000 ratification bonus and wage increases of 3.5 percent one month after ratification, 2.5 percent in mid-2015, and 3 percent in 2016.

"I'm so glad it's over. I just want to take a day off now," Wright said, his forehead glistening with sweat after going through the entire contract in the standing-room-only auditorium at Benjamin Franklin High School.

"I don't like it much, but at least we are getting something," Evelyn Matthis, a 20-year city veteran, said as she left with colleagues. She voted in favor of the contract, and her view was shared by many of the more than 1,000 members present for the closed-door vote.

Nutter, who is likely to tout the contract when he delivers Thursday's budget address, estimated the cost of the pact at $122 million over the next five years.

In 2016, current employees will have to chip in an extra 1 percent of their pay to their pensions, for a total contribution of 3 percent. New employees who opt for the old pension plan instead of the hybrid will have to contribute about 4 percent.

Still unresolved are on-and-off contract talks between the Nutter administration and the city's larger, blue-collar union, the 8,800-member District Council 33.


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