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      Traverse City commission may ink new deal with union workers

      The Traverse City Commission is expected to vote on its first union contract for city workers since the new right-to-work law was passed in Lansing.

      The Traverse City Commission is expected to vote on its first union contract for city workers since the new right-to-work law was passed in Lansing.

      Mayor Michael Estes tells 7&4 News that the commission will review a contract that covers 15 clerical and technical city workers who are represented by the Teamsters Local 214.

      The new right-to-work law, which Governor Rick Snyder signed in December, bars mandatory union fees under new labor agreements, applying only to contracts reached after March 27th.

      This means that if the commission passes this proposed four-year contract Monday night then this union group will still be allowed to require fees.

      "Whatever legislation that comes out of Lansing serves as tools for units of government, we don't necessarily embrace or support any decision they make down there," Mayor Michael Estes said. "It's got to be known that we are still looking at contracts that are in benefit and in the interest of our citizens. What the commission has to look at is what's in the best interest of the city, and whether employees pay union dues or not is not an issue we're here to negotiate."

      Estes says if the commission is pleased with the contract proposal they will vote at the meeting Monday night. If more discussion is required, then they will hold a closed session meeting to further discuss the terms.

      Estes could not discuss the terms of the contract in detail; however he says employee's pensions were a big focus for the city.