February 26, 2009

City hands out pay hikes to its 'outside' workers

The city’s public works and water employees snagged a two-year contract this week that provides them a 4.7 percent pay hike over the course of the deal.

The pact, which is retroactive to last July, provides a 2.8 percent pay hike in the first year and 1.8 in th second year, applies to  about 100 workers in Local 1338 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers’ Council 4.

For the first time, the employees will have to pay a portion of their health insurance premium as part of the agreement. They’re on the hook for 5 percent of the tab now.

City councilors unanimously endorsed the deal. The union itself split 2-1 in favor of signing the pact, officials said.

Mayor Art Ward said the pay hikes were already negotiated before the Wall Street collapse in the fall. Otherwise, he said, they may have been lower.

He credited the union with understanding the difficulties facing city budget makers trying to cope with sinking revenues and rising costs during a recession.

“They recognize the economic times,” Ward said.

City Councilor Ken Cockayne, who has voted against union deals in the past that he thought were too generous, endorsed this one despite some misgivings about the health care cost-sharing percentage.

He said Local 1338 “stepped up to the plate” in its dealings with the city.

The most recent contract before this was a three-year contract between the Board of Education and teachers that offers teachers a 1.9 percent salary hike in the first year following by 2.5 percent annual increases in the remaining two years of the pact.

Local 1464 members also agreed to pay more of the tab for their health insurance, rising to 14 percent of the overall cost in 2011.

But just before that, in December, city councilors approved a new two-year contract for the union that represents most City Hall workers that provided 3 percent annual raises and also introduced employee cost-sharing on health insurance for the first time.

The pact, which was retroactive to July 2007, required workers to pay 4 percent of their health insurance premiums until this summer, when they’ll be required to cover 5 percent of the tab.


*******
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nicely done Mayor Ward.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Art Ward.

Anonymous said...

How can we have a 0 increase budget when the Mayor keeps giving raises?

Anonymous said...

Ward said " the pay hikes were already negotiated before the Wall Street collapse in the fall"

Who are you kidding. If this was truly negatiated earlier it would have been before the council earlier. Since it wasn't before the council sooner, that means it was just finished up.

Good try on the spin Ward but your caught!!

Anonymous said...

Ward,

Keep taking care of your Union Boy's! We will all remember this in Nov.

How about doing what other towns are doing and cutting costs, instead of giving out raises? But then again you can't, you must take care of those who got you elected!

Anonymous said...

Pay hikes? In this economy? Come on.

Many companies are freezing wages or even cuting salaries.

We need a reality check here....

Anonymous said...

I belive our new president said that EVERYONE is going to have to make sacrifices in order for the economy to recover? Maybe our local leaders missed that?? Bristol is sinking deeper every day. If taxes increase again, I'm outta here. Don't worry, I'll send ya'll a post card.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for nothing Mayor COWard! I voted for you lat time, but not this time! Bring back Nicastro!

Anonymous said...

Wall Street may have started to swoon late last year, but the overall economy started to go down the tubes 18 months ago.

But Ward didn't listen!

failures said...

each and every day confirms that this blog site isn't about the best for bristol, it's about the frustrated republicans who only want to win elections - they don't want to do anything to win it - they feel that we OWE it to them.
Grow up mutton heads, ain't happening in my lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Failures has it right!!! Frustrated over critical RepubliKENS!!!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Failures. The republicans' sorry attempt at blaming the recession on the Mayor is laughable, but with no merits or accomplishments of their own, I guess it's all they've got. PATHETIC!

Anonymous said...

for those complaining, 4.7% over 2 years is not a great deal by any means, and does not even keep pace with inflation (roughly 3%).

in the private sector, 2.5% a year is a "reasonable" raise. i got more than that at my job. i don't see what the complaining is about. people have to get SOMEthing.

Anonymous said...

Inflation has been below 3% for some time. Also, why do we not hear the total cost of the contract?

I would support these raises if the unions would give back something, such as days off, etc

Also, I do not read it as the Republicans blaming Ward for the recession, but mnay people pointing out that Ward did not act sooner.

Wasn't there some kind of heads up letter awile back?

Anonymous said...

"I do not read it as the Republicans blaming Ward for the recession, but mnay people pointing out that Ward did not act sooner."

Well then, you're reading it wrong. If Ward had started years ago, it still wouldn't amount to a piss hole in the snow during this recession. The entire Country had a "heads up." Didn't seem to help us out now, did it? In the meantime, the RepubliKens have done NOTHING. They have no achievements. Nothing of substance to offer. Knocking the dems is all they've got. It truly is pathetic!

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

The union is also agreeing to pay more for their health insurance. That is a big concession.

Anonymous said...

12:55

If Ward had implemented a 2K/mo saving a year ago, it would have paid for one new police car each year going forward.

Just because the democrats in Washington were asleep too doesn't mean that local leaders should follow suit!

Are the DOUBLE SET of street lights still burning on North Main Street?

Anonymous said...

Geez 2:59, talk about micro-managing!

Anonymous said...

5% that's a joke. Most people in the private sector are paying 25% of their health ins. or more. People in the private sector aren't getting raises, they're being laid off! The private sector employees are working more for less than these city workers. If this keeps happening, a tax revolt is coming. People better wake up before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Sorry didn't mean to post basically the same thoughts twice.

Anonymous said...

3:55

Ward IS micro-managing, but in other areas.

When ideas are put on the table, all he has to do as a MANAGER is instruct staff to implement them.

Is that difficult?

Anonymous said...

If u read in between the lines you would see that the city is actually making out. Workers are basically getting a raise to pay for their healthcare. The city makes out in the end.

Anonymous said...

Article in the Courant:
All Simsbury employees gave up their incraese for the coming year, significant savings were achieved.

Wht couldn't Ward negotiate something like that in Bristol???

Anonymous said...

If you do the math between wht the cost of the raises are to the City versus the cost of the insurance copay (55) to the employees then you'll see that the cost to the City of this contract is near zero.

Anonymous said...

teachers & boe employees pay 11% of health insurance premiums, rising to 14% by 2011
VS
city employees pay 4% of their health insurance premiums, rising to 5% by summer 2009...
all city employees should be paying the same % towards their health insurance premiums BUT apparently mayor ward has his favorite departments...
maybe ALL city employees should be paying 25% of their health insurance premiums like us regular folks...
the city of bristol has one of the best health insurance policies for all of it's employees BUT depending on what department you work for will determine what you will pay for the SAME health insurance policy...that COMPLETELY does not make sense to me at all!!!!

Anonymous said...

Detroit City Workers are being asked to take 10% cut.

Why can't we just defer the increase for a year?