FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield’s government has closed another contract with its employee unions. Seventeen town workers will get raises this month in exchange for new retirement and healthcare plans that could save the town money in the future.
The Representative Town Meeting approved a deal with the Communication Workers of America Local Union No. 1103, which represents Fairfield’s emergency dispatchers. The new contract, which extends through June 2014, replaces one that expired in 2010.
“[The contract] does set a nice precedent for us,” said RTM member Nick Mirabile, R-9. “There were a lot of concessions made.”
The town will not have to pay retroactive raises for the first two years of the contract, which dates back to the old contract’s expiration in July 2010. Instead, the dispatchers will get 2 percent raises retroactive to July 1 and another 2 percent raise effective Monday night. The union will also get a 2.75 percent raise in July 2013.
In exchange for the pay raise, the union agreed to a 401(a) retirement plan instead of traditional pensions for new hires. The union also agreed to higher insurance copays, fewer paid sick days per year and higher healthcare contributions for employees who include spouses and families in their plans.
The new deal will cost the town an extra $26,000 through July 2013, and another $21,000 each year after that. Six members of the RTM voted against the contract because of the added costs.
“We continue to ask our taxpayers, who are not getting increases, to pay for increases,” said Carolyn Richmond, R-1, one of the “nay” voters.
The contract passed, 45-6, Monday night, reducing the number of unresolved union contracts with town employees to four.