MODESTO -- Proposed pay raises at the Modesto Irrigation District will return to its board Tuesday morning.
Directors will consider a union contract that would provide up to 12 percent in cost-of-living increases through 2014, among other things.
The matter came to the board Aug. 14, but no one seconded a motion to discuss it. The contract re-emerged for another possible vote after a closed session later in the month.
The contract would provide a 3.9 percent raise immediately and inflation-based increases of up to 4 percent in 2013 and again in 2014.
In addition, 55 percent of the district's 400 or so employees would get raises of 3 percent to 34 percent based on salary comparisons with 14 other utilities and public employers in Northern California. Those above the average would forgo some of the inflation-based raises until the average caught up with them.
The contract also would reduce pension benefits for future hires.
Employees have not had inflation-based raises since 2007. They did get merit-based increases until reaching the top of their salary ranges.
Critics have said the MID should not consider raises at a time when other public and private employers have laid off people or trimmed pay.
MID officials have said they have left many jobs vacant to save money. Personnel costs are a small proportion of the district's expenses, which are topped by power supply costs.
The proposed contract is with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245. It covers employees in power and water operations, customer service and several other areas.
The contract has been approved by two of the union's bargaining units the 208-member utility service and maintenance unit and the 44-member professional and supervisory unit. The 107-member administrative, technical and clerical unit rejected the contract.
The board also could vote to apply the same employment terms to 46 nonunion employees.
The board will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the district offices, 1231 11th St., Modesto.