After Years of Negotiations, Local 604 Secures Salary Increase, Better Employee Benefits

After two years of negotiations, UWUA Local 604 recently struck a deal with Lakeland Commissioners on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. The new contract provides a yearly salary increase, merit performance-based raises and shortens the time it takes a worker to earn top pay.

“I’m glad the city ratified it and I’m glad it’s over,” said Michael Stewart, president of Local 604. “Hopefully next time it doesn’t take nearly as long to get a contract negotiated and ratified.”

One of the most contentious points of the previous contract was the inordinately long period of time required for employees to reach maximum pay. Whereas the industry standard averages around 4 years, Lakeland employees could have waited for 16 to 20 years before earning top salaries in their positions. Under the new contract, all job titles were classified as either “market sensitive” or “non-market sensitive,” with the former classification now to earn their maximum salary in four years, and the latter classification after eight.

Read more about the contract here: