City council defers vote on labor agreement with water emplyees

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The city deferred the voting of the labor agreement with water workers Tuesday.

The vote will now take place on June 18.

Negotiations have been going on since November, 2017.

"I think both sides made their arguments and presented their evidence," Matthew Bergmann, Attorney for AFSCME, said. "I think that the government process is working through and hopefully it comes out in our favor."

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees were asking the governing body to accept the terms found by a non-partial FactFinder in 2017, in regards to wage increases, back pay and a second shift.

The FactFinder recommended an increase of 17 percent to wages and the city offered 11.5 percent.

AFSCME argued that if back pay was not part of the agreement, workers would not receive and increases for 2018, because the deal was supposed to be done before then.

The union said they were open to conversations of a second shift, as long as the wage increases were enough.