Recology Sonoma Marin, union ratify new 5-year worker contract

Recology Sonoma Marin and Teamsters Union Local 665, the union representing about 360 of the trash-collection company’s workers, reached an agreement Sunday on a new five-year contract, according to both parties.

“The contract passed by more than two to one,” union president Mike Yates said Monday.

Sunday’s ratification vote was the third time a proposal had been put before members in back-and-forth open negotiations that lasted beyond the Sept. 30 contract expiration date, which was extended to Oct. 31 — then another two weeks. The earlier votes were held Oct. 23 and Nov. 6.

Yates said the new contract “locks in very good wage increases” but declined to provide specific details, as did Recology Sonoma Marin.

Recology Sonoma Marin trash-pickup worker Chris Gosiak on Monday said his hourly wage will jump to $33.50 from $29, then max-out at $38.40 at the end of the five years.

Yates confirmed those figures, which he said are effective immediately and retroactive to Oct. 1.

Gosiak previously said and reiterated again Monday that he and his colleagues had hoped to get to $40 an hour, or at least by the end of the five years.

He also stated Monday that medical benefits will be free to the workers.

“It’s a raise and our benefits are taken care of, so it could have been a lot worse,” said Gosiak, who earlier stated he and his colleagues were prepared to go on strike Nov. 1, if necessary. “Nobody’s happy, but we went in the right direction.”

In an email statement Monday, Recology Sonoma Marin said it is “pleased that after putting forward a proposal that we believe is fair to both our employee-owners and the ratepayers of Sonoma and Marin counties, (that) the contract was ratified.”

Teamsters Local 665 represents roughly 360 of Petaluma-based Recology Sonoma Marin’s employee-owners in collections, post collections, maintenance and customer service.

Recology Sonoma Marin serves Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Cotati, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, unincorporated Sonoma County, Novato, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, West Marin and Point Arena.

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