City, Municipal Employees Continue With Negotiations

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Negotiations resume today between the city and the Glendora Municipal Employees Association, which is seeking a new contract.

The previous contract expired February 1, 2015. No settlement has been reached, said Tris Carpenter, a union representative from America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who was recently assigned to the GMEA negotiations.

Negotiations have been ongoing since late 2014.

Municipal employees have reportedly not received a cost of living increase in several years and lag behind compensation compared to surrounding cities.

“The same holds true for the benefit subsidy payments that the city makes. Those have not increased in prior years, either. Of course, insurance costs have gone up, and surrounding cities have increased their employee subsidies–some are 20 percent higher than Glendora.  So, in that respect, Glendora has not been competitive, either,” Carpenter said.

The city’s negotiating team has offered on several occasions a financial package equal in value with the police management package, but the GMEA declined it, said Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers.

“We’re looking at new rounds of discussions and we’ll see where that takes us from there,” Jeffers said. “Our goal is to try to reach a mutual agreement and hopefully the parties will be successful at that.”

The GMEA broke ties with then labor relations consultant/contract negotiator private attorney Wendell Phillips. In an overwhelming 73-6 membership vote, the GMEA decided to affiliate with AFSCME.

Glendora Council member Gary Boyer agrees that a contract is long overdue.

“An agreement between the city of Glendora and the employees group is the most important issue we have to deal with. Not having an agreement with the employees is not acceptable to me,” Boyer said.