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Mayor Jean Stothert | City of Omaha

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(November 2, 2018)

The City of Omaha and Local 251, representing civilian employees, have reached agreement on a three-year labor contract effective 2018-2020.  The contract has been approved by Local 251 members and the Personnel Board.  The agreement will be on the City Council agenda November 6 for first reading.

Negotiations focused on health care benefits and wages.

The contract includes a 3% annual wage increase over the term of the contract. The increase is retroactive to March 2018. 

A significant change in health care benefits including a high deductible plan and health savings accounts begins in 2020.  These benefits are more comparable to plans offered in the private sector.

The Omaha Police Officers Association (OPOA) and the Police Management Bargaining Unit have already moved to the high deductible plan.

“Health care is a significant expense for taxpayers. Our goal is to have one employee health care plan that provides quality, affordable care for employees at a reasonable cost,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.

In 2018, the City budget includes approximately $62 million for employee and retiree health care benefits, approximately $68 million is budgeted in 2019.

Negotiations with Local 251 did not include pension changes.  The members previously agreed to an unprecedented cash balance pension plan which replaced the defined benefit plan.  New employees hired since 2015 participate in the cash balance plan which is estimated to provide a fix to the unfunded pension in 20 years, much sooner than would have been possible under the defined benefit plan.  

Local 251 is the largest civilian union, representing 657 employees.

Negotiations with the Functional Employee Group, which represents several dozen civilian employees, are underway and an agreement is expected this month.  The City is also negotiating with the Professional Firefighters Association Local 385.