New Contract Holds Line on Wages
The Bristol County Water Authority and its union workers announced a new 3-year contract that holds the line on wages until the final year of the pact.
The Bristol County Water Authority issued a press release dated Thursday, Aug. 16, announcing a new union contract that holds the line on salary increases for two years.
Allan Klepper of Barrington, chairman of the board of directors for the water authority, said that numerous other details of the contract were changed in concert with the union. The complete new contract is expected to be posted on the water authority website by the middle of this week.
Here is the press release:
"After 3 months of negotiations, and with the assistance of a federal mediator, the Bristol County Water Authority is pleased that the Board and the Local 359 of the Utility Workers of America have approved a new 3 year contract, which is effective May 31, 2012. The Authority was represented by Joe Whelan, a Bristol resident, who specializes in labor negotiations.
Chairman Allan Klepper noted that he was pleased with the negotiated contract that was professionally accomplished with hard work and sacrifice by both sides. While the new contract holds wages for the first two years, the union will see a wage increase of 2.25% in the third year of the contract. As is customary with other union contracts, the employees of the Authority, as well as its retirees, will contribute toward health insurance. The Authority was also able to gain some additional flexibility and control to manage the utility going forward.
The new contract also allows for the Authority to take advantage of new trends in retirement plans and planning for retirement benefits. It specifically allows the Authority to switch from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan for future employees, where the employees can make matching contributions. This plan reduces the liability of the Authority for future contributions.
Executive Director Pamela Marchand applauded the Authority personnel for their dedication and commitment to the operation and maintenance of the water system. She expressly thanked the Union representatives and all employees for understanding the financial position facing the ratepayers and working with management to support the future operation of the utility.