Columbia DOPW contract turmoil - Republic-Times | News

Columbia DOPW contract turmoil

By on August 22, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Pictured, from left, is Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul with new CPD officers Andrew Krump and Tyler Gallaher with Mayor Kevin Hutchinson. Krump and Gallaher were officially sworn in at Monday’s Columbia City Council meeting. (Andrea Saathoff photo)

Monday’s meeting of the Columbia City Council packed the house.

Whether they were there to see the city’s newest law enforcement officers take their oaths to protect and serve, to express gratitude for what city leaders do or implore them to go farther, citizens and employees of the city exercised their right to be heard. 

Jason Chism, a negotiator with the United Steelworkers labor, which represents the city’s Department of Public Works employees, took to the podium to vent his frustrations over negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement that are rolling into a sixth month.

“It’s almost like the city is looking for a fight with the public works department,” Chism said. 

The primary points of contention revolve around the city’s desire to implement a two-tier pay and benefits structure for new employees, and an increase in health insurance costs for all DOPW employees.

“We were just looking to maintain our current benefit structure and propose modest wage increases,” Chism said. “We’re looking for basically the status quo…>>>

Read the rest of this article in the August 22, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email: