Will County and AFSCME Reach Agreement
Five-year contract will affect 750 employees
"Our negotiations were very deliberate, and cooperation was key," said Board Speaker Jim Moustis (R-Frankfort). "I am proud that this county board could achieve this agreement without work stoppages or strikes. I believe all parties involved are pleased with the final product, but the biggest winners are the taxpayers.”
The new contract calls for employees to pay a larger percentage of their health insurance premium each year. Workers agreed to pick up a larger share of healthcare premiums in recognition of ever-growing medical costs.
Employees will pay 11 percent of their total healthcare premium in FY2018. That number will rise until it reaches 15 percent of total healthcare premium in 2021. For the first time, employees will also have the option to open a Health Savings Account.
“A five-year contract gives county government a long-term measure of predictability to aid in crafting future budgets. It allows employees to better plan as well,” said Mike Fricilone (R-Homer Glen), chair of the Finance Committee. “That certainty is a big plus of this agreement." Previous contracts lasted three or four years at most.
Under the terms of the new agreement, AFSCME employees will see wage increases of one percent effective September 1, 2017 and 2 percent on December 1, 2017 which is for FY2018. In FY2019 and FY2020, employees will see two percent increases and employees will see a three percent increase for FY2021. The contract will not be retroactive to the beginning of the current fiscal year.
"I'm very pleased with the agreement and what we're able to offer the hardworking employees of Will County," said Board Minority Leader Herb Brooks (D-Joliet). "It's important we keep our county employees fairly compensated and healthy, so that they can better serve the residents of Will County."