No matter what side you’re on, labor disputes stink.

But in Lincoln, the dispute between the city and some of its workers could take on a particularly pungent funk, because it would interrupt garbage collection services. As a result, the city has turned to contractors to fill in for their normal workers until the disputes are settled.

At the center of the dispute is sharing healthcare costs. Currently, the city pays 100 percent of the employee costs, but they have asked the union to approve a deal that would include a 10 percent employee contribution. The union says that’s too much and has countered with a 5 percent contribution and a two-year pay freeze.

On September 13th, the city issued its last, best, and final offer to the union. Only time, and trash, will tell how it’s accepted.

From the Sacramento Bee:

Lincoln officials say that contractors will be used for garbage collection in place of city workers after a key labor unit went out on strike today.

The city and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 39 have reached an impasse in contract negotiations.

Union officials said members were willing to accept a two-year pay freeze, pay more of their retirement costs and pay up to 5 percent of their healthcare premiums, but were not willing to accept the full 10 percent shift in healthcare costs sought by the city. The city currently pays 100 percent of their healthcare costs.

Read the full article here.