Local 29 members that work People's Gas had a contract that was set to expire on January 23, 2016. The Company was also in Negotiations with a Local Union of the United Steelworkers (USW) and two Local Unions of the Utility Workers of America (UWUA) for expired contracts for workers that they represent. The Company made offers to all four Local Unions and to non-represented workers for an early retirement. We came to an agreement to extend the current contract for three years with wage increases of 2.5% per year, fix some overtime language, and exchange President's Day holiday for Martin Luther King holiday.
The agreement also included an early retirement offer to those age 55 or older with at least ten years of service. Any member electing this offer will receive 50% of their salary for two years and fully paid healthcare for those two years. Over 50% of our members there are qualified for this offer.
On Wednesday, December 16th the membership voted on this agreement and ratified it by a 3 to 1 margin.
Our members at People's Gas were formerly members of IBEW Local Union 1956 that merged into Local 29 on August 1, 2014. These members performed the clerical and technical work for Equitable Gas Company. People's Gas bought Equitable Gas in 2013.