Employee contracts on the agenda soon?

Contracts with two city employee unions are set to expire on June 30.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 856 represents the Administrative, Technical and Clerical employees and the Field & Operations employees.  The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 29 represent engineers and mid-level managers.

The next memorandum of understanding (MOUs) between the City and both organizations are under discussion and have been the subject of two closed-session meetings of the City Council in the past month.

The City Council would likely prefer to reach agreement about the terms of these MOUs before they adopt the City’s Budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year – currently set for adoption at their meeting next Tuesday, June 24.  State law requires the City to adopt next year’s budget by June 30.

The Concord Police Managers’ Association and the Concord Police Officers’ Association both agreed to a one-year extension of their contracts in mid-May.

Things to look for in the tentative agreements – when they are announced:

  • What’s the term of the MOUs?

All employee groups MOUs expired this June.  The POA and PMA took one-year extensions to their MOUs.  In the past the different bargaining units sought different MOU lengths for strategic reasons or so they could negotiate separately from the others.

  • What’s the compensation increase?

The POA and PMA traded increased employee contributions towards their own pensions for a portion of the raise they received in the latest MOU.  Beyond the trade the POA and PMA will receive a 2 percent increase starting on July 1. The Teamsters and OPEIU already made the same trade in their current MOU.  Will they see a 2 percent increase too or something else?

  • Are the amounts (compensation and benefits) agreed to already factored into the 2014-15 budget assumptions?

Since the mid-1990’s the City has always used a 10 Year Financial Forecast to help project the sustainability of city programs and services.  That forecast is developed using certain revenue and expenditure assumptions like expected increases in property taxes or costs of employees.

The unrepresented employees – Executive, Management and Confidential are typically given increases identical or similar to the terms of the agreed upon MOUs for represented groups.

Negotiations could drag on past the expiration of the MOUs on June 30.  But it is also possible that an agreement could be reached later this week.

I’m a former Mayor, City Council member and Planning Commissioner who has lived in the City of Concord since 1989. I have a BA in Government from CSU Sacramento. My entire career has been spent explaining business realities to public officials and political realities to business leaders.


  • The POA got the 2% increase in addition to a swap neutral increase to bring their pension payment to the full employee amount. What that means that instead of the city paying their shortfall, the city increased their pay over an above the 2% base increase so that the members pay the amount direct rather than the city paying it.

  • That’s what I meant by “traded”. I appreciate your commenting to help explain things.