The City of Richland announced early Friday morning a new contract has been reached with members of the electrical union, IBEW 77 (international brotherhood of electrical workers).

The city information release read as follows:

"The City of Richland and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 77 have reached an agreement on the terms of a successor contract that will be effective through December 31, 2021.

The terms of the new contract are beneficial to both the City and Union and we look forward to future productive dealings with Local 77. 

The agreement is set to be approved at the City Council Meeting on September 21, 2021. "

No other information was released, but for a number of months, the 30 affected workers from IBEW had been in a dispute with the City over wages, saying they were not paid at levels comparable with others in their field.

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According to various sources, including the WA state worker-labor observer 'thestand.org,' the City claimed due to COVID costs they could not afford to pay wages competitive with other utilities in the area. The Stand reported two workers had left over the last couple of months over this issue.

No details of the contract were released, but it will carry the workers through at least Dec. 31 2021.

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