New Castle County and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1607 have agreed to terms on a new two-year contract that increases employee contributions toward their benefits.


New Castle County and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1607 have agreed to terms on a new two-year contract that increases employee contributions toward their benefits.

The concessions amount to a 2.5 percent reduction in employee costs that County Executive Paul Clark has sought from employees in order to balance the budget without any layoffs, acting county spokesman Charles "C.R." McLeod said.

The agreement comes on the heels of the new contract that AFSCME Local 3109 membership ratified last week, McLeod said. That contract also included a crucial 2.5 percent reduction in employee costs that Clark has sought from employees.

Both contracts are retroactivel to April 1, 2011, and will expire on March 31, 2013, he said.

“Successfully negotiating new contracts with our union members is a critical piece of my administration’s efforts to stabilize the financial future of New Castle County, Clark said. "I’m grateful to the dedicated employees represented by AFSCME Local 1607 for working with us to secure this new agreement that achieves needed savings for the next two years."

The terms of the AFSCME Local 1607 contract include an increased monthly employee contribution towards healthcare, a no layoff provision, and adjustments to overtime compensation. The county will save $442,500 annually, an amount equivalent to approximately 2.5% of each employee’s pay. AFSCME Local 1607 represents approximately 366 clerical and technical employees.

Contract negotiations with the other four union locals who represent county employees are ongoing, McLeod said. The pay and benefits structure of more than 80 percent of the county workforce is negotiated by collective bargaining units.