Parks department employees in Rock Island have their first union contract.
The Rock Island City Council approved Tuesday an agreement with Local 988 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, commonly known as AFSCME.
Nine parks employees voted in the spring to join AFSCME. Contract negotiations with Rock Island began soon after.
One problem has been the classification of parks jobs. Before unionizing, each position had its own title. But City Manager Randy Tweet says that needed to change.
"The public works department has a lot of manpower and equipment that can be utilized if needed, for maintenance around the city, and it just made more sense that all maintenance employees, whether they were parks or public works, could just be in one department."
Maintenance employees in the department will receive a minimum 5 percent raise.
The contract lasts through Dec. 31, 2019.