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East Palo Alto workers could get raises

City Council to consider new contract Tuesday night

A new agreement between the City of East Palo Alto and an employees union could give city workers a pay bump of 3 percent with fewer required furlough days.

The City Council will vote tonight, April 22, to approve a tentative agreement reached between representatives from the city and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521, which represents non-sworn police employees and most other hourly city employees. Union members approved the agreement on April 3.

The proposed agreement would provide union members with the equivalent of a 1 percent salary raise in the form of paid time off if city revenues exceed expenditures by at least $300,000 in fiscal years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Members would receive an additional 2 percent salary increase as time off if revenues exceed expenditures by at least $900,000 in those same fiscal years.

Bonuses would also come in the form of paid time off, which employees could cash in during the pay period following the bonus (if the hours would be automatically cashed out by the end of the fiscal year).

Under the new contract, the number of furlough days would decrease from 13 to eight in fiscal year 2013-2014 and from 13 to four in 2014-2015, with two of the days scheduled during the December-January holiday period. The additional furloughs would be scheduled prior to the last full pay period in June 2015.

If approved, the contract would cost the city an additional $412,960 in the first year and $104,900 for 2014-2015. The first year's expenditures would come from the city's general fund; the second year expenditures would be part of the proposed 2014-2015 budget, according to a staff report.

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