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THOUSAND OAKS : City Employee Group Seeks Mediation

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The Thousand Oaks Management Assn., representing about 100 top-level municipal employees, has declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the city and will request state mediation.

Although the Thousand Oaks City Council on Tuesday approved a new contract for about 240 mid-level employees, negotiations with managers and supervisors have stalled, union representatives said.

“We submitted our proposal in early May, and five months later the city hasn’t offered us a single thing--they have not come to the table with a counteroffer,” said Jeff Knowles, president of the management association. “By my understanding of the definition, this is an impasse.”

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But Councilman Alex Fiore objected to the union’s unilateral declaration of an impasse, announced at the start of Tuesday’s council meeting. He insisted the two sides agreed on most issues.

The union is requesting changes in the deferred compensation plan so that employees could set aside pretax salary dollars in a special account and earn matching contributions from the city.

The union has also asked the city to combine vacation and sick time into an annual leave allotment, so healthy workers can take as much time off as those who frequently call in sick.

City negotiators could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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