The Local Teamsters union in Wadsworth has submitted an intent to strike notice to the city, although picketers were not outside this morning. For almost two years, both sides have tried to reach a deal unsuccessfully.
At odds are wages, health insurance, hours of work and more.
The union and city have held 22 bargaining sessions, participated in fact finding and held a bargaining session with a mediator, after the fact finders report and recommendations were rejected.
Mayor Robin Laubaugh says if a strike does take place, the city’s focus will remain on providing high quality services to residents and businesses. “At this point, we do not anticipate any interruption to our services. The City is making preparations in the event the union chooses to strike. The City remains committed to reaching an agreement that is realistic..,” the mayor explained in a news release.
The City and the Teamsters have been involved in a collective bargaining process to create the initial contract since December 2014. “We have been able to reach tentative agreements on a significant number of issues, but several items remain unresolved”, said Jim Kovacs, Human Resources Manager.
On May 13, both sides engaged in a Fact Finding process in which a neutral, third party was called in to listen to the positions of each party on the outstanding issues. The Fact Finder issued a report and recommendation on June 30. The Wadsworth City Council adopted the findings while the union rejected them.
“We were disappointed to receive a notice to strike prior to a scheduled mediation session with a representative from SERB,” said Robert Patrick, Director of Public Service. “The City has continued to work hard to offer solutions over the last 22 months to bring about a fair and reasonable contract that is consistent with other bargaining agreements within the city.”
Local 348 is made up of 26 public employees from various departments, including sanitation, communications, vehicle maintenance, meters and water distribution and wastewater collection.