Bucks County OKs 10.75% wage increase over 4 years for 400 county union workers

Bucks County reached a contract settlement providing for a 10.75% wage increase over four years with 407 county employees represented by the union.

The contract, which is retroactive to January 1, 2021, will offer employees a raise of 2.5% in the first year, 3% this year, 2.75% in 2023 and 2.5% in 2024.

The new contract for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was unanimously approved by county commissioners at their board meeting on Wednesday.

County Chief Operating Officer Margie McKevitt said employees worked in various county government departments, but not in the court system. She said there is no fixed starting salary with the new contract, as it varies depending on the position and the skills required.

The settlement is the same one that more than 100 county court workers reached with AFSCME through arbitration in February, said Tom Tosti, director of AFSCME District Council 88, which serves the Philadelphia area in from Plymouth Meeting.

Tosti said the county offered union members raises of 2% per year, or 8% on the four-year contract. With the work that county and court employees had been doing during the pandemic, he said he was glad they got the 10.75%.

“It’s better than what they offered,” he said of the settlements. He said the contract for court employees was already in effect and that for other county employees, including those at the Neshaminy Manor nursing facility, had been voted on but the contract had not yet been signed. by the union.

The union is still in negotiations for union sergeants in the sheriff’s and corrections departments, as well as in arbitration with row office employees, Tosti said. Ranking officers are elected positions and their departments are part of a separate bargaining unit from the main county administration.

The county also entered into a separate contractual agreement with the Bucks County Peace Officers Association, calling for increases of 2% per year over four years, from 2021-24. Under this agreement, officers, who perform security at county properties, will receive increases based on years of service, which was not part of previous agreements.

Bucks County has 2,600 employees, about 75% of whom are unionized, county spokesman James O’Malley said. Their salaries represent $182.31 million and benefits represent $68.59 million, for a total of $250.90 million of the county’s 2022 operating budget of $474.1 million.

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McKevitt said there are a total of 18 employee bargaining units the county is negotiating contracts with, including the five units represented by AFSCME.

William M. Mayer