Members of Teamsters Local 320 who work for St. Louis County’s Public Works Department voted Saturday to reject the county’s final offer. The vote was 117 – 8.
The vote came after an almost 12-hour final mediated session on Friday. The Teamsters bargaining committee voted unanimously to reject the final offer when mediation broke off.
“St. Louis County failed to address issues concerning equity of sick and vacation leave accumulation between other county employees and the employees of the Public Works Department,” the union said in a press release. “Other county employees have a higher accrual limit to the benefits. St. Louis County failed to allow its Public Works Department employees to shop for better, more affordable health insurance.”
Scott Olson, a 13-year equipment operator for St. Louis County who voted to reject the final offer Saturday, was quoted as saying, “We voted to reject the County’s final offer because we will no longer tolerate having second class benefits. We want equality with other county employees.”
“The County’s final offer may appear generous in the short term,” says Erik Skoog, Teamsters Local 320 business agent and chief negotiator. “But the offer would no longer cover the cost of dental care should the employees elect to switch to a more affordable health insurance plan.”
“The County attempted to horse trade with its employees’ benefits,” says Brian Aldes, Teamsters Local 320 Secretary Treasurer and principal officer. “We cannot allow county employees to go backwards.”
A date and time for the employees to engage in a work stoppage has not been set at this time. The first day employees could strike against St. Louis County is Tuesday, January 14, 2020.