Tacoma, power union reach tentative agreement

IBEW 483 to vote on terms by April 22

Staff writerApril 3, 2014 

The city of Tacoma and its power line workers’ union appear to have a tentative agreement.

Negotiations between the two stalled in February and they re-entered mediation. Union members had voted 97 percent against a new contract with the city.

The rift between the city and union was so deep that the union had permission to strike from regional and national union authorities, Alice Phillips, business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 483 Tacoma Power union, said in February.

However, the city and union left an Olympia bargaining session last month with a tentative agreement in hand.

The IBEW 483 contract expired on March 31. With this tentative agreement, that deadline was extended by 30 days to allow the union members to review the contract and vote. The union’s vote on the city’s contract proposal is due by April 22.

“I am pleased that the City and IBEW Local 483 negotiated a tentative agreement. We hope that the union will vote to ratify the agreement so it will come to the City Council for approval,” said Tacoma Human Resources Director Joy St. Germain in a written statement.

The contract covers workers who maintain high-voltage power lines for the city and Tacoma Public Utilities.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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