After more than three months of negotiations, the Oxnard City Council this week ratified a contract with its employees union.
More than 300 clerical, technical and professional employees represented by the Public Employees Assn. of Ventura County have worked without a contract since July 8.
The new contract provides a 3.9% salary increase in January, with an additional 2.25% increase to some employees in June.
A medical benefits increase of $50 per employee per month is retroactive to Aug. 6.
The council voted 3 to 0 to ratify the contract. Council members Geraldine Furr and Manuel Lopez were absent.
While "it's not a bad adjustment," the contract still fails to compensate Oxnard employees as much as workers in cities of comparable size, said Barry Hammitt, union director. Oxnard employees earn about 30% less than their counterparts in comparable cities, he claimed.
The ratification comes in the midst of serious budget problems in Oxnard. Struggling to complete this fiscal year without drawing from reserves, the city must chop expenses by about $750,000, City Manager David Mora said.