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News Release
Richland Responds to IBEW Negotiations - 07/21/21

The City of Richland and IBEW Local 77 (Representing Richland Energy Services Line Workers/employees) have been engaged in negotiations for a successor Collective Bargaining Agreement to remain effective 2021 through 2023. To date, the parties have been unable to reach an agreement on the economic components of a contract settlement.

On July 8, 2021, the City of Richland put forth a conditional/concept offer to which there has been no formal response from IBEW. At their July 21 City Council meeting, Richland Mayor Ryan Lukson made a statement confirming the official city representative in these negotiations has not been notified of the outcome of the union’s advisory vote. In fact, to date, a formal response still has not been received by the city representative.  Sharing the preliminary results of an advisory vote with a member of the management team or directly with the media does not meet the obligation of the union to negotiate in good faith and work through the city bargaining representative.  Any false reference to the Mayor or other councilmembers intentionally misleading our citizens is unfortunate and irresponsible. 

While there are many economic enhancements offered in the settlement proposal, the focus of the Union’s outreach is solely on base salary. The City and its representatives are committed to a total compensation package that includes additional benefits and allowances. Per the offer of July 8, the significant wage enhancements offered by the City are as follows: 

 Wages

2021 – 2.5%

2022 – 3.0%  

2023 – 3.0%

The offer also includes an Alternative Work Schedule advanced by the Union on January 27, 2021. 

Again, the City is committed to a total compensation philosophy and believes that this conditional/concept proposal positions the Union well with the appropriate comparable agencies.  Contrary to what has been shared via the Union’s media campaign, these comparable organizations include more than 10 agencies from across the state including other local utilities.

We appreciate all of our staff. We are committed to bargaining fairly and in good faith. We understand where the market lies within each industry. We continually re-evaluate and find the balance of investing in our City infrastructure and assets to, at the very least, maintain what we have while also fairly compensating staff. 

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