By David Skolnick

By David Skolnick

Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN -- City council will meet today to vote on a fact-finder's report on a three-year contract with Youngstown's street-department union -- which considered going on strike before agreeing to a pact with a pay freeze in 2010.

The city's 30 or so union members in the street department are members of Teamsters Local 377. They voted Monday evening on the fact-finder's recommendations, but the results were not available.

City council will have a special meeting at 1 p.m. today to vote on the report.

Both sides have to agree to the report for it to be ratified.

Rich Sandberg, Teamsters Local 377 president, declined to discuss the report except to say it's a three-year deal that would be retroactive to Jan. 1, the day after the previous union contract expired.

The union has worked without a contract for more than 10 months.

City Deputy Law Director Anthony Donofrio said the report calls for no base salary increases.

"We were pleased with the results" of the report, he said.

No city union has received a base-pay salary increase in four years.

Union members in the street department earn between $10 an hour for entry-level laborers to $20.29 an hour for maintenance painters.

State law requires both sides to vote on fact-finder reports within seven days of receiving them.

Council's next regularly-scheduled meeting is Nov. 20. As it did this year, council sometimes cancels its first meeting of November because it falls on the day after Election Day.

That resulted in today's special meeting.

In April 2010, almost four months after its previous contract expired, the street-department union agreed to accept the administration's "last, best and final" offer.

While the final vote total wasn't disclosed, a union official at the time said it was close and the members considered a strike but opted to take the city's offer, which included a three-year pay freeze.

Before agreeing to that contract, the union rejected two other proposals.

Unionized street department employees last received a pay increase in a contract signed in 2007 that increased salaries by 6.9 percent over the life of the three-year deal and gave them a $1,200 signing bonus.

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