Discussion on a collective bargaining agreement continues between the City of Knoxville and the city employers union, with differences over wage raises and health insurance premiums.
The union proposed a seven-percent raise in wages for city employees, while the city responded with a zero-percent proposed wage raise for 2010-11. The city is expected to have a 3.2% reduction in taxable valuations next fiscal year, which would mean less revenues for the city. Knoxville union representative Randy Schultz says he expects economic conditions will be discussed in future negotiations, and says the union is proposing an ideal wage increase.
Councilman Bob Wims says given the expected reduction in property values and increasing city expenses, a seven-percent wage increase is not very responsible given the current economic conditions. Knoxville City Manager Dick Schrad says the city also proposed that single employees pick up a portion of their health premium costs, which the city has paid in full.
The city and union will meet again later this month and continue negotiations.