Midwest Municipal Locals Ink New Deals

Local 108 and Anderson, IN

Patience paid off for 58 members of Local 108 who run Anderson’s water and wastewater systems. UWUA was the last of the city’s municipal unions to reach agreement on a contract renewal; the prior agreement expired December 31, 2021.

Ryan Green, who stepped down as local president this fall, said, “The city’s other unions settled more quickly, but we took our time and made sure we came away with a new deal that includes the wage and other gains we wanted as well as full retroactivity.” The contract runs through year-end 2025.

The negotiating committee included Green along with Kade Hoover; Dustin Elliot, the local’s incoming president; Ben Kardatzke; Matt Fedor; Mecca Norris; Mikeal Vaugh; and Joe Lawler.

Local 108’s gains include:

  • Guaranteed wage increases of 4%-3%-3%-4%
  • On-call pay bump from $250/week to $375/week
  • Doubling of annual longevity payments from $100/year to $200/year for 2022 and 2023, and a further increase to $250/year in 2024, with no cap for years of service
  • 15 sick days with a change in the accrual method so that new employees can draw on it more quickly than in the past.


Local 560 and Salem, OH

Local 560 members ratified a new three-year agreement with the city of Salem that includes 10% in guaranteed wage increases, among other gains. The local’s 17 members provide 12,000 customers with water, wastewater, collection and distribution and customer service. The new agreement runs from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2026.

“Members were mostly concerned about pay, so are happy with the results,” said Andrew Stoudt, the local’s newly elected president. This was Stoudt’s first time being involved in negotiations. “We’re fortunate to have a fairly good relationship with the city, so the process went smoothly,” he said.

Stoudt, who has worked in the city’s water plant for 10 years, was joined at the table by Samantha Looper, representing clerical employees; outgoing president and recent retiree Jim Brown, from wastewater; Brian Hall from distributions and collections; Terry Jackson from wastewater who joined the team after Brown’s June 30 retirement; and UWUA National Representative Frank Meznarich.

Local 425C and Canfield, OH

Members of Local 425C, a 6-member unit of Ohio Local 425 that joined UWUA in 2018, said negotiating their second contract with the City of Canfield was a lot easier than the first.

Cliff Deem, Local 425’s president, recalled the bad environment when the group first joined UWUA. “The city manager at the time was very against the workers and we had a long, drawn-out process to win a first contract.”

“This round was different. That manager is gone and there’s a better dynamic,” said Dean Maggs, chair of the local’s 425C division. “We were able to start negotiations early and get everything into the contract that had been blocked by the old city manager.” The union’s committee included Maggs, Deem, Jim Fox, and UWUA National Representative Frank Meznarich.

One person can make all the difference. When the old manager left about a year ago, the city appointed its police chief to take over in an acting role until a permanent manager could be hired. “He understands unions; he’s been a union member all his life. This time, everyone was more willing to negotiate and get it done,” Maggs said.

The new three-year agreement takes effect Jan. 1, 2024, and includes 3%-3%-4% in guaranteed wage increases as well as protections on work schedules, overtime and vacation. According to Maggs, members were particularly concerned about locking in schedules: “We achieved enforceable schedules so that members can make plans and achieve better work-life balance.”

Maggs said members are happy with the results: “Every day, our members are out there working hard — fixing roads and water breaks, removing snow, taking care of the parks — to make the city a better place to live. We weren’t asking for anything outrageous. We just want to be able to provide for our families and are glad we finally got an agreement that recognizes that.”

Photo caption: Left to right: Cliff Deem, president of Local 425; Canfield’s Jim Fox, Will Hunter, Tim Long, Dean Maggs, Mark Mook, and Jim Kagarise; Jim Slevin, UWUA president.