County, union agree on wage freeze

Published 7:27 pm Thursday, January 13, 2011

ST. JOSEPH — The Berrien County Board of Commissioners approved a collective bargaining agreement between the county trial court and Teamsters Local 214, representing the 32 unionized Friend of the Court employees.

The three-year agreement will put a wage freeze for 2011 and 2012 and give a 0.5 percent increase for 2013. The union opted to decrease its current contribution to the pension plan in lieu of a wage increase. The contribution will reduce from 10.9 percent to 8 percent.

Employees will now pay 15 percent of the monthly premium for health care insurance, while they previously paid 12 percent. Pension plan vesting will now occur at 10 years of service, rather than at five years, for employees hired after Jan. 1, 2011.