Local 270 members working for the City of Cleveland ratified a new three-year agreement securing substantial advancements in training and sick leave for 46 members in building support and the city’s water treatment and distribution plants.
The negotiating committee included Local 270 President Chris Ericksen, Vice President Rob Scheffler, Recording Secretary Karl Scheffler, and members Jonathon Blevins, Scott Raimann, Logan Readinger, and Kenny Walker (division chair for Local 270’s water group), along with UWUA National Representative Frank Meznarich.
The deal encompasses guaranteed annual wage hikes of 2% per year and a $1,000 ratification bonus. Those who retired between the March 31, 2022, expiration and the April 2023 ratification received both back pay and the bonus.
Ericksen emphasized, “Using other proposals as leverage, we seized the opportunity to tackle sick leave and training — two issues that are really important to these members.”
The new agreement completely overhauls training procedures. Previously, members submitted skill mastery videos, and then waited sometimes weeks for supervisory approval. The new system employs in-person job skills demonstration.
Readinger praised this change, “Removing videos streamlines certification and expedites the associated pay increase.” Raimann concurred, “The city was already allocating money for raises but members couldn’t access it because of how long it took to get the certification.”
Blevins, a stationary building engineer, delivered a persuasive presentation during negotiations, influencing management perception on the importance of training. “Members are looking forward to being able to apply for training that will help them
do their jobs better,” he stated.
Sick leave calculation also underwent a significant revision. The previous system, based on an 8-hour shift, allowed 30 hours of sick leave for every 90 days of service. However, water plant workers on 12-hour shifts could never utilize 3 full days of sick leave. The new contract addresses this, granting 36 hours for every 90 days worked.
Walker, a Class 3 operator at the city’s Baldwin plant, expressed satisfaction, “This was a longstanding need for us.”
Additionally, the contract designates Juneteenth as an observed holiday and includes substantial boosts in clothing, boot, and tool allowances.