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Vallejo council unanimously approves last worker contract

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Vallejo finally reached labor peace with the last of its four employee unions Tuesday when the City Council voted unanimously to approve a three-year deal with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The agreement with the IBEW, Vallejo's largest public employee union with more than 200 members, includes millions of dollars in contract concessions, setting the stage for the city to present a bankruptcy exit plan in federal court early next year.

Some 30 union members in the audience at Vallejo City Hall applauded after the council vote, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald newspaper.

The new contract, which was approved by union members last week, includes an additional 5 percent pay cut this year and freezes salaries in 2011 and 2012.

The deal also reduces city contributions toward employee health plans.

Vallejo filed for bankruptcy in 2008, in large part blaming salary and benefit provisions in its labor contracts.

As part of the agreement, the IBEW agreed to drop its pending legal challenge to the bankruptcy filing and the termination of its contract with the city.

Interim City Manager Phil Batchelor applauded union and city negotiators who hammered out the agreement, the newspaper said.

"The contract we have brought to you today . . . is a product of compromise," he said. "We owe a great deal to our employees."

In other business, the council voted unanimously to approve a five-year plan to present early next year to the U.S. District Court judge overseeing the city's bankruptcy proceedings.