In a vote on Thursday, March 16, union members of all four Butler County bargaining units of SEIU Local 668 successfully ratified a new five-year contract. The collective bargaining agreement will be retroactive to January 1, 2023, and run through December 31, 2027.
Union members stood in solidarity to eliminate an unfair tiered-wage system that prevented newer employees from making equal wages with their coworkers doing the same jobs. Now, all employees have a pathway to earning the full job rate for their work.
Following the challenges of COVID-19, the new contract also includes yearly pay increases for all workers and will substantially raise wages for the lowest-paid employees over the next five years. The agreement also securely ties in affordable health insurance for the life of the contract.
After negotiating with Butler County for months with little progress, union members had authorized a strike before talks resumed late Friday afternoon last week. More than 90 union members turned out in a demonstration of their determination and solidarity at the final bargaining session, which lasted into the early hours of the weekend, producing the agreement.