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Town Employees Transition From 80-20 Healthcare Share To 70-30

 Town Manager Mark Haddad announced that five of the town’s seven unions have reached tentative agreement with the town on their three-year contracts. They are; AFSCME, Council 93 – Town Supervisor’s Union; Groton Patrolmen’s Association; Groton Superior Officers Association, NEPBA, Local 53; Groton Professional Firefighters, IAFF, Local 4879; and Groton Communications Officers, IBPO, Local 522. The two remaining unions are SEIU 888 Town and Library Employees and SEIU 888 Highway, Water Transfer Station Employees. These two unions are in ongoing contract negotiations. 

   Cost of the three-year tentative agreement contract is: $95,645 for the Groton Patrolmen’s Association; $58,932 for the Department Heads Union (AFSCME); $50,476 for the Groton Professional Firefighters; $31,900 for the Superior Officers Association and $17,170 for the Communication Officers Union.

   The biggest item that was negotiated at the directive of the Select Board was to change the health insurance cost share with the town from an 80/20 split to a 70/30 split. According to Haddad, “We achieved this with each of the five unions.”

   Each of the five unions agreed to the following Health Care arrangement. “Effective upon approval of this Agreement by the 2018 Fall Town Meeting (expected to be held October 1, 2018), the town will pay 70 percent of health insurance premiums and employees will pay 30 percent of health insurance premiums. Each employee currently taking a family plan will receive a one-time cash payment of $675 upon ratification of this contract by Town Meeting. Each employee currently taking a single plan shall receive a one-time cash payment of $325 upon ratification of this contract by Town Meeting.

   Effective July 1, 2019, each employee currently taking a family plan will receive a onetime cash payment of $675 on the second pay period of FY 2020. Each employee currently taking a single plan shall receive a one-time cash payment of $325 on the second pay period of FY 2020. 

   Effective July 1, 2020, each employee currently taking a family plan will receive a onetime cash payment of $675 on the second pay period of FY 2021. Each employee currently taking a single plan shall receive a one-time cash payment of $325 on the second pay period of FY 2021.

   There is also a provision and payment for an employee to “opt out” of health insurance plan providing that they a have proof that they are enrolled in another health plan. 

   The employee can then receive 25 percent of the town portion of the health insurance plan the employee is enrolled in at the time of the “Opt-Out”. The amount will be provided to the employee divided by the number of pay periods in the Fiscal Year that it is being paid.

   Each of the five unions also has areas of the contract agreement that are unique to them. Some of are highlighted here. 

Town Dept. Heads Union

 

   The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – (AFSCME)- Department Heads, will receive a four percent wage increase July 1, 2018; two percent wage increase July 1, 2019; two percent wage increase July 1, 2020.

   The town will memorialize a Performance Incentive Program that will allow eligible employees to earn up to an additional 2.5 percent per year based on receiving a rating of “exceeds expectations or above expectations” conducted by the Town Manager in the case of Department Head Reviews and individual department heads for all other employees. This is up from two percent in the previous contract.

Groton Patrolmen’s Association

   The town and Groton Patrolmen’s Association Union agree to increasing the hourly rate of Union members as follows: Effective July 1, 2018 – four percent; Effective July 1, 2019 – two percent; Effective July 1. 2020 - two percent.

   Regular, full-time officers will be entitled to a Uniform Maintenance Allowance when initially reporting for duty of $500, in addition to a Uniform Maintenance Allowance of $1600. An annual Uniform Maintenance Allowance of $1600 will be in effect for the term of this Agreement. 

   All full-time employees covered by this agreement shall be granted a clothing allowance of $20 per week for the purposes of cleaning and maintaining their uniforms.

   Stipends for certain specialty assignments will be determined in discussion with the Chief of Police and the union representative.

   Each year a total of $8,000 in specialty assignment stipends will be awarded. Effective July 1, 2019, this amount shall increase to $8,500. This yearly stipend amount shall be exhausted each fiscal year. The specialty assignments for which yearly stipends may be paid are as follows: Firearms instructor, taser instructor, defensive tactics instructor, field training officer, Nemlec officer, accident reconstruction, breathalyzer keeper of records, court prosecutor, equipment maintenance officer and senior liaison. The specialty assignments for which a yearly stipend is paid may be amended each year only by mutual agreement of the Chief of Police and union.

   Private details shall be paid at the rate of $55 for Patrolmen, with a minimum of four hours. Work beyond four hours shall be paid in four-hour increments up to eight hours. After eight hours, details will be paid at time and one half in two- hour increments. If a detail is cancelled within two hours of the start of the detail, the four-hour minimum will be charged. Private details required to be worked on any holiday as defined in Article XX shall be paid at time and one half the Private Detail Rate. Patrolmen ordered in to work a detail, or an emergency detail or details expected to have more than 1,000 people shall be paid at time and one-half. For purposes of this Article, an Emergency Detail shall be defined as a detail with less than four hours’ notice.

Groton Professional Firefighters

   The town and the Groton Professional Firefighters agree to the following wage change; four percent wage increase July 1, 2018; two percent wage increase July 1, 2019; two percent wage increase July 1, 2020.

   Full-time employees who are held over at the end of their shift for any work-related purpose, shall receive a minimum of two-hours of overtime pay.

Overtime shall be calculated pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act for hours worked in excess of the average of 42 hours over a seven-day cycle. Employees required to attend department sanctioned training shall be paid overtime regardless of any FLSA requirement under this section. All employees shall be paid at the rate of time and one half that of their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over their regular scheduled working hours.

Communications Officers

   The town and Communication Officers Union agree that on June 30, 2018, all members of IBPO #522 shall have their annual salary increased by $775 and their hourly rate recalculated. The June 30, 2018 hourly rate will then be increased on July 1, 2018 by 2.5 percent; effective July 1, 2018 by 1.75 percent; and effective July 1, 2019 by 1.75 percent.

   An employee of the Unit shall be required to become and remain a member of the Union, and to pay money to the Union with written authorization by such employee for the payment of dues through payroll deductions as provided in Article IV of this Agreement

   As a condition of membership in the Sick Leave Bank, each permanent full-time employee of the bargaining unit shall donate to the Sick Leave Bank. On July 1 of each year, each full-time employee of the bargaining unit shall contribute two of his/her sick days to the bank. In the event that an employee cannot contribute to the sick leave bank, membership shall be forfeited until such time as the appropriate donation of time can be applied. If an employee has the maximum amount of sick time accumulated, an additional four days can be contributed to the bank. These days shall be deducted from his/her accrual of sick time and credited to the Sick Leave Bank. If an employee has contributed, as an individual, 300 hours and the Sick Leave Bank balance combined total is over 1600 hours (200 days), the individual will not be required to contribute unless their sick time is at the maximum, and they choose to contribute voluntarily.

   For tuition reimbursement, the town agrees to reimburse individual employees for the actual tuition cost plus required books, incurred not to exceed a total of $66 per credit hour. All courses must be approved by January 1  preceding the upcoming fiscal year by the Police Chief as job-related. On the successful completion of each course, the employee will furnish the Chief with an official transcript from the educational institution. The maximum reimbursement to any employee shall not exceed $800 in any fiscal year. No provisions of this Article shall be retroactive.

   In the area of training, a dispatcher who has not worked in that position for a period of four or more months may, at the discretion of the Police Chief, be required to participate in up to four hours of refresher training under the guidance of a Communications Officer before returning to work independently.

Superior Officers

   The town and Superior Officers Union agree to set the salary of full-time sergeants based on the outcome of the Patrolmen Union’s Negotiations. The town agrees that the intent of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is to maintain a 16.5 percent differential from the top step patrolmen to the sergeant’s Base Rate. Further, the town and Union agree that any Sergeant in any specialty assignment will be paid a maximum yearly stipend of $1,150 for all specialty assignments they are required to perform by the Chief of Police.

   Regular, full-time sergeants shall be entitled to a Uniform Maintenance Allowance of $1600. A purchase receipt or a vendor’s bill must be submitted with the request for reimbursement or payment. All purchases shall be subject to the approval of the Chief of Police as to specification and be a uniform designed by the town. Newly- appointed sergeants shall receive an additional $500 upon promotion to update current uniforms to Sergeant Specifications. Effective July 1, 2019, the annual Uniform Maintenance Allowance shall be $1700. Effective July 1, 2020, the annual Uniform Maintenance Allowance shall be $1800.

   All full-time employees covered by this agreement shall be granted a clothing allowance of $20 per week for the purposes of cleaning and maintaining their uniforms.

   Sergeants will be issued a Professional Development stipend of up to $2000 each year. A payment of $1500 will be issued in the last pay period of November. An additional $500 may be reimbursed to each sergeant with the submission of receipts not to exceed a total of $2000, provided that the activities may be reasonably expected to be of the benefit to the rown and are preapproved by the Chief of Police upon submission of vouchers to the Town Accountant.

   Private details will be paid at the rate of $55 for sergeants with a minimum of four hours. Work beyond four hours shall be paid in four-hour increments up to eight hours. After eight hours, details will be paid at time and one half in two-hour increments. If a detail is cancelled within two hours of the start of the detail, the four-hour minimum will be charged. Private details required to be worked on any holiday as defined in Article XX shall be paid at time and one half the Private Detail Rate. Sergeants ordered in to work a detail, or an emergency detail or details expected to have more than 1,000 people shall be paid at time and one-half.

 

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