Council Plans to Fund Collective Bargaining Agreement for County Employees

Montgomery County Councilmembers met to review renegotiated compensation and benefits for the Municipal and County Government Employees’ Organization (MCGEO) in the fiscal year 2020 operating budget.

The council voted, 7-2, to adopt a resolution that indicates “its intent to approve the renegotiated collectively bargained contracts with MCGEO and to fund the compensation and benefits provided in the agreements renegotiated by County Executive Marc Elrich for FY20.”

After January 2020, a 3.5% additional service increment that wasn’t funded by the council in FY11 will be funded at 1% payable. Though County Executive Marc Elrich agreed to phase in the rest of the 3.5% additional in FY21 and FY22, the council only approves the operating budget for one year.

Originally, the agreement would’ve provided a 2.4% wage adjustment beginning in November 2019, but the renegotiated agreement would provide for a 2.25% general wage adjustment beginning in December 2019.

County spokespersons say, “The original agreement would have provided a $1,200 lump sum for employees who are not eligible for any service increment. The renegotiated agreement reduced the lump sum to $1,000.”

In a statement, Council President Nancy Navarro called this resolution a “fair balance.”

“It’s important for me on behalf of the Council to express my appreciation for the willingness of MCGEO representatives to go back and take a look at repositioning this particular agreement,” said Navarro. “I think that this strikes a fair balance, and the bottom line is that our workers are the ones who day in and day out provide the services that we rely upon so much. This particular renegotiation is something we can afford while we continue to work on the other elements that are affecting our budgets year after year.”

Employee compensation makes up 80% of all agency — Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission— operating expenditures.

The county was unable to fund any service increments in fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2013, and in 2011 many workers were furloughed.

A county spokesperson said, “In conjunction with the revised agreement between the County and MCGEO submitted on May 10, the County Executive recommends a revised general wage adjustment for non-represented employees beginning in December—the same as for MCGEO employees in the revised agreement. At its April 30 meeting on compensation and benefits for all agencies, the Council deferred a final decision on pay adjustments for County Government non-represented employees. The Council indicated its general support for equity in pay adjustments for non-represented employees with other employee groups, consistent with long-standing County practice.”

The council will make its final vote on compensation and benefits for the final fiscal year 2020 budget on May 23.

Council staff reports about the renegotiated provisions in collective bargaining agreements for MCGEO and compensation costs can be found here.

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