In negotiations where “everybody had to give up a little bit, to get something we can live with,” County District Attorney Daniel Hooge presented a new five-year collective bargaining contract agreement between Teamsters Local #14 and the County Road Workers, Dispatchers, and Clerical Units.

County Commissioners heard the recommendations and approved the contracts at their Jan. 20 meeting.

Hooge and Commissioner Dr. Adam Katschke, along with others, worked on the contract negotiations since last May, he said.

“Much of it has the same provisions from the last few years, but the major things that changed were the grievance procedure, health insurance, and wage scales.

For the health insurance section, Hooge said the County will pay a premium of $800 per month and each employee will contribute $60 a month, a $740/60 split.

The County employs a little over 80 people.

“It’s a bit more than it has been,” Hooge noted, “but it’s a big bonus for the County because we had been expecting to have pay upwards of $900 to $1,000 per month. Yes, a bit more for the County, but now all employees will pay the contribution. Before, it was only those with dependants, now it will be all employees.”

Hooge said the negotiation committee rewrote all the wage scales and put them into one scale, a numeric system used by the state of Nevada for their employees.

“You have different grades and steps. Every grade has 10 steps. That was a major item the Commissioners have been pushing for awhile. It eliminates longevity, which has been a bit burdensome for the County,” Hooge explained. “And instead, the wages will increase as state wages increase. When the state gives their employees increases, it will automatically trickle down to Lincoln County employees.”

Hooge said Union #14 members had already accepted the contract terms before it was taken to the County Commission for their approval.

The contract talks took longer than expected Hooge said. “But we got a long term five-year deal that will hopefully make everybody happy and feel satisfied. Both sides did have to give up a little bit, yet in the end I think it is something we can all live with.”