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Published: Thursday, 9/23/2010

Teamsters, Toledo reach tentative agreement on new pact


The Bell administration and Teamsters Local 20, which represents Toledo refuse workers as well as city water plant workers, have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The two sides have been locked in talks for a new agreement since a majority of Toledo City Council last month rejected a fact-finder's recommendation for a contract with the Teamsters union that Mayor Mike Bell had said was too expensive for the city to pay.

Teamsters begin voting on the tentative contract at 9 a.m. Saturday. If the union membership ratifies the contract, city council would vote on it at its meeting Tuesday.

City officials declined on Thursday to comment on details of the agreement and Teamsters Local 20 President Bill Lichtenwald could not be reached for comment.

Councilman George Sarantou, who was unaware of the details, said he was hopeful the labor dispute would be settled.

"The sooner we can put this behind us, the better off we are," he said.

The rejected fact finder report — which was written by Paul Gerhart, professor of marketing and policy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland — advised a 2 percent raise effective the first pay period of July, 2011, or a 3 percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2012.

It also recommended a boost in the drivers' hourly rate to $21.08 from $18.03 and a lump-sum payment to compensate for the loss of $3.27 an hour in incentives and bonuses that was related to the city's way of collecting trash before automation. The fact finder refused the city's request for the workers to pay their own full 10 percent share of the pension contribution.

Mr. Lichtenwald previously said union members were angry council rejected the plan.

Toledo's Deputy Mayor of Operations Steve Herwat declined to comment Thursday.

He previously said the rejected fact finder recommendation was unacceptable because other unions set to begin contract talks in 2011 would expect raises as well.

An analysis distributed by the Bell administration said if all unions got the raises sought by the Teamsters, it would add $3.42 million to the budget.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:


or 419-724-6171.

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