On Jan. 2, Pickerington City Council approved, by emergency, a two-year collective bargaining agreement with the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Council originally tabled the agreement because it granted a 3.5 percent raise every year for three years to city employees represented by the union. Facing a tight budget that could lead to employee layoffs, council could not agree to the terms.
The new agreement grants a 3.5 percent raise every year, but only for two years. The AFSCME contract will now expire at the same time as the police union agreement.
Councilman Brian Wisniewski said he received a call from a concerned citizen who expressed concern over council granting raises while the budget remains shaky.
Councilman Michael Sabatino said he also received a call from a citizen who shared a similar concern and questioned why the city employees pay little for health insurance.
At the beginning of the year, city employees were given the option for a high deductible health savings plan, said City Manager Judy Gilleland. Fifty-five employees have already joined the plan and it has saved Pickerington money. The city is researching additional plans to find further savings.
The winning bid for the final stage of the Diley Road expansion was $2 million less than the Ohio Department of Transportation estimated.
The original estimate for the project was $15.9 million; the winning bid was $13.2 million from George J. Igel and Company.
The Igel Company bid fell within $600 of the estimate completed by Pickerington’s own engineering company.