Streetsboro -- The city administration reached a 3-year collective bargaining agreement with the city's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which includes gradual increases in pay and the amount employees pay toward healthcare.
Mayor Glenn Broska and Mike Bair, president of Local 3811, both described the negotiations as "amicable."
"They [AFSCME union] were very forthright with what they needed," Broska said. "We told them what we could do. There was enough trust between the two groups. They were great, they truly were."
"We're very happy," said Bair, a Streetsboro Water Department utility worker. "It's one of the best negotiations I've been involved with in 12 years. We knew what the city wanted, and they knew what we wanted. We settled it within three meetings. That's never happened before."
The AFSCME agreement was unanimously approved Jan. 28 by City Council.
AFSCME members will receive 1 percent pay increases in 2013 and 2014 and a 2 percent pay increase in 2015, according to the terms of the agreement.
For health care payments, AFSCME members will contribute 11 percent in 2013, 13 percent in 2014 and 15 percent in 2015.
The 3-year contract runs from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015.
AFSCME represents the city's full-time mechanics, the parks & recreation department employees, clerks and secretaries, utility workers in the service and water departments, and building and zoning inspectors.
It is the third union contract approved in the past year. The terms for all three contracts are the same, officials said.
An agreement between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police was approved Jan. 7 by Council. The contract runs from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015.
A contract between the city and the firefighters' union was approved Feb. 13, 2012 by Council. It runs from Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2014.
Negotiations for the city for all three contracts were handled by Broska and Clay Morris, director of human resources.
"A big part of it is, [the unions] weren't negotiating with an outside attorney," Broska said. "When you are able to negotiate with the people who can affect the change, we were able to make those changes. The biggest thing is, I trusted them, and they trusted me. That was the bottom line.
"I really feel the police, fire and service contracts are fair and equitable," Broska said. "We can build upon them, and we can move forward from here."