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Kansas City, Missouri, city workers to receive pay bump in new union contract

KCMO Local 500 new CBA.jpg
Posted at 4:06 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 17:06:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Union employees who work for the city of Kansas City, Missouri, are set to receive an average raise of 12.6% under terms of a new collective bargaining agreement announced Tuesday.

The new four-year agreement between KCMO and workers with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 500 creates a citywide minimum wage of $16 per hour for seasonal and part-time workers and $17 per hour for full-time employees.

Local 500 represents workers who resurface roads, maintain water treatment plants, work with the waste collection department and perform a variety of customer-facing jobs, including customer-service reps, taxpayer specialist and ambulance billing clerks, according to a release from KCMO.

In addition to the average 12.6% wage increase, the new CBA also establishes annual “step” increases for municipal workers’ salaries.

"Today, I hope you recognize that this is a small token of our appreciation with many, many, more to come," Mayor Quinton Lucas said in announcing the new labor deal. "And what I hope that what we see over the next several years isn't that we fall behind, once again, but that we become leaders in our region, in our country in terms of how we look out for our workforce with pay increases at high levels that make sure we represent all of you."

AFSCME, which is part of the AFL-CIO, is the largest union for public employees in the country.

The KCMO City Council approved the deal, which union members recently ratified. It runs through April 30, 2026.

“This is a step in the right direction," Local 500 President Reginald Silvers said. “The goal is recruitment, retention and training, and we have solved some of those problems with these negotiations. Local 500 is grateful and appreciative.”

Kevin O’Neill, a councilman who represents the 1st District At-Large, called the new CBA “a great start but nowhere near the finish line.”

Particulars of the new contract with unionized city workers includes “market-based salary adjustments,” which take effect Aug. 1, and 3 to 4% annual increases each of the next three years.

Each December, workers with at least five years of service also will receive a lump sum “longevity pay” bonus.

The deal also includes shift differentials and allowances for overtime meals and tools.

“We've been working closely with Local 500 leadership to find ways to better support and celebrate our hard-working front line essential city employees,” City Manager Brian Platt said in a statement. “These significant increases to salaries and benefits will improve our ability to attract and retain the best talent which will also ultimately improve service delivery.”

Non-union employees also are in line for revised, higher pay grades based on years of service effective Aug. 1 after a review of market data to ensure competitive salaries as a way to bolster employee retention.