Pact reached between City, water protection workers

18 months of negotiations end with a three-year deal reached between the city and unionized labor with the water protection department.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 9:28 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) --  St. Joseph's unionized water protection employees now have an official three-year contract.

The deal was voted in tonight by members of the Local 579.  Full details of the agreement were not available, but it does include a no-strike clause, which is required under state law.

The pact comes after more than a year of negotiations after employees voted to join a union in December of 2017.

"We're setting a baseline," said Jeff Phillips, a spokesman for the Western Missouri & Kansas Laborers' District Council, who represented the Local 579. "Anytime you are starting a new relationship and setting some ground rules and laying a foundation there's going to be some challenges. We've got that foundation set and move forward and hopefully have a successful relationship in the city for a long time."

 The Local 579 represents around 30 employees of the water protection department.

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