In moves no doubt being mirrored in some form in communities across Wisconsin, the Wauwtosa Common Council approved measures Tuesday night that spell the end of union collective bargaining influence on compensating city workers.
One resolution, passed unanimously, did away with any difference between union and non-union employees in health insurance contributions, excepting fire and police, raising the rate for formerly protected employees from 3 percent to 10 percent across the board.
Another eliminated all but one health care plan, doing away with negotiated options and allowing the city to set up plans with higher deductibles.
"These two little items are a big deal," said Ald. Peter Donegan, chairman of the Employee Relations Committee. "We're migrating our benefit costs pretty aggressively.
"I want everyone to understand that one of these items moves all employees to the same rate on health insurance, and that's 10 percent.
"The other gives us the option to create plan designs with higher deductibles. So these are not to be taken lightly, but they are moves that benefit the city."
Council President Eric Meaux, presiding over the meeting in the place of the absent Mayor Jill Didier, added, "I think this demonstrates the city's intent on treating all employees with parity."
Ald. Craig Wilson had moved the items, but he called forward City Administrator Jim Archambo to answer to whether city employees had been well-informed of the city's intentions.
"This is virtually identical to what we had talked about earlier this spring," Archambo said, referring to negotiations for union concessions before the state's budget repair bill was passed. "In each of our meetings, we communicated to them our intentions to implement these plans."
Other council actions
The Common Council also approved several other resolutions that have been in the news as they made their ways through committee hearings.
A public hearing date of Sept. 6 was set on an ordinance that would add the into the city's Comprehensive Plan.
The city accepted the gift of land from Derse Associates LLP that includes part of the .
The council adopted a developer's agreement limiting the on a parcel it intends to redevelop as a neighborhood market at 3850 N. 124th St.
All were approved unanimously. Ald. Linda Nikcevich and Ald. Jill Organ were absent.