Negotiators for Key Biscayne and the union representing about three dozen general staff employees reached tentative agreement Friday on a new three-year contract, a pact that would raise wages 5.5% Oct. 1, add the Juneteenth holiday, and make improvements to training programs.
In years two and three, wage increases would match the rate of inflation, up to a cap of 4%.
The deal faces a ratification vote by union members as well as the Village Council. The pact stands out for its speed — previous rounds of talks with the unions have taken years. Village Manager Steve Williamson, in another notable departure from previous practice, was directly involved in leading the talks for the government.
“We’re done,” said attorney Richard Weiner, who also represents several International Union of Police Association bargaining units in the Village. Other IUPA units, covering police officers, sergeants, and lieutenants, are still in talks with the Village, but those discussions are also at an advanced stage.
The general staff unit includes non-sworn police department workers as well as employees of other non-public safety departments such as Parks and Recreation staff.
Negotiations with the island’s fire department employees have been more contentious. On Friday, the firefighters asked for a smaller raise — 5.5% in each year, as well as improvements to retirement plans the Village has been resisting so far.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.