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The original item was published from 1/3/2024 1:53:17 PM to 2/4/2024 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: January 3, 2024

[ARCHIVED] SWA bargaining units ratify agreement with Governing Board for new contract term

Sweetwater Authority logo and photo of contract with pen

Last week, employees of the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Middle Management and Confidential bargaining units voted to ratify a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the agency. The Governing Board (Board) had reached tentative agreement with unit representatives in late December, after a months-long effort in collaborative negotiations.

The three-year agreement provides additional employee benefits, including:

  • a Cost of Living Adjustment as follows: 6 percent increase effective July 1, 2024, 3 percent increase effective July 1, 2025, and 3 percent increase effective July 1, 2026; 
  • 80 hours of paid parental leave for birth or placement of a child;
  • increased compensation to $30 per pay period for job-related certifications that exceed those required by an employee’s position;
  • increased compensation to $30 per pay period for the bilingual pay stipend;
  • and a yearly 2% performance pay bonus for long-term employees who exceed performance requirements.

 The agreement also balances inflationary pressures and rising healthcare premiums by establishing moderate cost-sharing between the Authority and unit membership. Starting in 2025, the Authority will cover premium increases up to 8%; any increases above that threshold will be shared equally between the agency and the units.

“Management recognizes that constructive labor relations are crucial for the Authority to attract and retain highly-skilled and adaptable employees who work in service of our ratepayers,” said General Manager Carlos Quintero. “Management believes that this agreement with our management and confidential employees appropriately rewards those units for their work, provides service benefits for our ratepayers, and overall shows the advantage of productive negotiations.”

The agreement will go to the Board for approval on January 10, 2024. If approved, the contracts will be effective through June 2027. 

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