SAN DIEGO — Ballots detailing a tentative three-year contract that calls for a wage freeze but keeps in place employer-paid health benefits have been mailed to unionized workers at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, according to the state labor mediator who coordinated the labor negotiations.
The workers--employed by the Zoological Society of San Diego--have until June 30 to either ratify or reject the pact, hammered out by management and officials of Teamsters Union Local 481, which represents 922 of the society's 1,289 workers.
The tentative agreement was reached after a 16-hour negotiation session Monday, which was coordinated by state labor mediator David Hart. The state official was brought in after weeks of talks had left labor and management "miles apart," according to zoo sources.
The proposed contract calls for a wage freeze in the first year of the contract, with possible pay increases in the second and third years if the society's revenues outpace expenses by at least 15%, according to sources familiar with the tentative agreement.