2018 Meet and Confer Agreement Ratification

City of Houston Workers Have an Agreement!

After 12 weeks of Negotiations (with months of preparations), HOPE Bargaining Team members and City of Houston representatives reached an agreement on the 2018 Meet and Confer. 

HOPE Bargaining Team Members meet during the first week of 2018 Meet and Confer Negotiations to prioritize Articles for discussion. Negotiations took about 12 weeks and concluded with an Agreement containing Across-the-board adjustments and policy improvements to improve both the workplace and lives of all City of Houston workers. The Agreement is subject to HOPE member ratification.

 The 2018 Meet and Confer Agreement, pending Member Ratification, will represent the 4th agreement since HOPE Members won Recognition from the City of Houston in December 2006.

While the very first HOPE Meet and Confer Agreement in March of 2008 took a grueling 15 months to finish, members made significant improvements to pay, policies, and benefits. The 2008 M&C included a groundbreaking raise in the minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $10/hr. This had a huge impact as thousands of employees, mostly Houston residents,  saw a 25-30% wage increase.

Agreement after agreement has led to many policy formulations and improvements from compensation like Shift Differentials and Bi-Lingual Pay to Evaluation reform with the HEAR to Privatization and Layoff alternatives. The goal of each Bargaining Team is to improve subsequent Meet and Confer Agreements with the experience gained from operating under previous ones. Being the ONLY city in Texas with such a process for non-classified municipal workers, HOPE members take this responsibility seriously.

HOPE Agreement Summary:

What improvements are in the 2018 Meet and Confer Agreement?

Compensation:

  • Across-the-Board Increases of 3%, 2%, and 1% plus a conditional extra 1%** over 3 years starting in FY 2019 (July 2018).
      • **Additional +1% added if and when FY 2021 Property and Sales Tax hit goals.
  • Builds on Improvements to Compensation made in YOUR previous HOPE Contracts, including Shift Differential, Longevity Pay, Overtime, Compensatory Time, Holiday Pay, and Call-Back Pay,
  • Will more than cover the recent increase to the cost of Insurance for City of Houston Workers.
      • Chart below illustrates HOPE Member negotiated raise against insurance costs.

City of Houston workers saw an increase in insurance costs back in May. HOPE Members made it their mission to ensure that the Across-the-board raise would not be lost to the rising costs of insurance. As the table indicates, even the City of Houston worker electing the highest cost in coverage @ $280.68 while winning the lowest Across-the-Board increase @ $748.80 would make $468.12 more this year.

Additional Improvements:

  • Improved HOPE Union Communications at Work: Improved language for all Bulletin Boards, including electronic along with joint Communications (Example: M&C Email from HR.)

  • Dispute Resolution: Kept a strong dispute resolution process in place.

  • Larger Bargaining Unit: Mayor & Council Staff can be HOPE members now.

  • Paid Time Off: PTO task force made of equal parts HOPE and COH with Implementation by 9/1/2019.

  • Various Trainings and Certification Recognition.

HOPe Member Ratification process

What are the next steps for HOPE Members to secure these improvements in the 2018 Meet and Confer Agreement?

Now that the HOPE Bargaining Team and City of Houston Representatives have reached an agreement, ALL HOPE members in good standing have an opportunity to now ratify it. The agreed-upon improvements WILL NOT HAPPEN until the Agreement is Ratified by a simple majority of HOPE membership.

HOPE Members will have several options for casting their vote in the ratification process, from physical ballot locations with HOPE Member leaders in work-sites all over the city, to visiting the HOPE Office during business hours, to an online vote form.

The Bargaining Team made of 29 folks from various departments from all across the city. They've spent hours upon hours securing the best possible contract for you as City of Houston workers and the citizens you serve. They're asking for a "YES" vote from all HOPE members.

***Please follow the link to the 2018 Meet and Confer Agreement to see it in full.***