By Anna Lothson
Representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 and the Village of Oak Park officials met again with a federal mediator July 17.
Union representatives and 27 village employees walked out on the job July 7 and 9 after several discussions were held between the groups without compromise on new contract terms. The employees the union represents include many non-management staff at the Oak Park Village Hall, parking enforcement officers, public works and forestry division employees, as well as several other departments.
The items left on the table relate to changes in overtime pay and merit-based pay increases. The union is asking for a two-percent merit-based pay increase. The group also wants to be able to file grievances if an employee feels he or she was not fairly awarded a merit-based pay increase.
The other unresolved issue, according to the union, is that employees will lose overtime pay if sick, holiday or vacation days are used in the same week.
The village has offered a 1.5 percent merit pay, in addition a 1-percent increase across the board. David Powers, village communications director, said the village has allowed members to grieve denial of merit. Union representatives have suggested the policy isn't fair.
As for the sick day provision, Powers said the village has offered to limit the provision to sick days and not holiday or vacation days.
Union officials have said another strike isn't out of the question if compromise isn't reached, but said they hope that won't be the case.