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City of Tampa, Unions Negotiate Contracts Ahead of Schedule

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Rewarding good work, and recruiting and retaining great employees is key, Mayor Castor says

City of Tampa officials and leaders of Tampa’s employee unions have reached tentative agreements on three-year employment contracts months earlier than any time in modern Tampa history. Members of the Police Benevolent Association and Amalgamated Transit Union have voted overwhelmingly to approve the contracts, while members of the Tampa Firefighters Local 754 expect to complete their voting next week. Tampa City Council members will consider the contracts in the coming weeks.
 
“We can’t achieve excellence as a city without excellent employees,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “Inflation has hit Tampa Bay harder than much of the country, and I felt it was important to stand behind the men and women who serve our residents so well. While many people worked from home through much of the pandemic, City of Tampa employees remained on the front lines, fixing broken pipes, testing our water, collecting our trash and recycling, and saving lives. To keep Tampa resilient, we need to be able to recruit and retain outstanding employees, so this raise is both necessary and well-deserved.”
 
The tentative wage agreements for the three unions are the same: A 9.5 percent salary increase in the first year, and 4.5 percent increase in years two and three.
 
“The men and women of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1464 work tirelessly to serve the people of Tampa and make this the best city in America, and we appreciate the care and attention Mayor Jane Castor and her administration put into these contract negotiations,” ATU Local 1464 President Steve Simon said. “We are grateful they recognize our sacrifices and hard work on behalf of the people of Tampa.”’
 
“The last few years have been incredibly challenging for law enforcement, and this contract reflects an acknowledgment by the Mayor and City of Tampa of the service and sacrifices that our members have provided and will continue to provide in the future,” said Tampa PBA President Darla Portman.
 
Prior union contracts were not completed until months after the city budget was approved, but city and union leaders this year set and achieved a goal to complete the work sooner so it could be considered as part of the next budget. In another departure from the past, Mayor Castor asked all department heads to participate in the contract negotiations alongside Human Relations Department officials to build stronger relationships and ensure the contracts incorporated better-governing processes.