New contract in place for dispatchers

NAUGATUCK — After prolonged negotiations, the borough and the union that represents 911 dispatchers have reached an agreement on a new contract.

The contract with the United Public Service Employees Union Local 424 Naugatuck Police 911 Dispatchers is retroactive from July 2015 and runs through June 30, 2018.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the contract this month.

Under the contract, the six employees in the dispatchers union will receive salary increases every six months.

As of July 1 this year, the salary for employees in Group A, which are employees who have been employed for more than a year, is $22.50 an hour. Employees in Group B, which are employees who have been employed for less than a year, earn $21.71 an hour. Part-time employees are paid $16.73 an hour regardless of how long they have been employed.

On Jan. 1, 2017, the salary for Group A employees will increase to $23.10 an hour. Employees in Group B will earn $22.31 an hour, and part-time employees will earn $17.33 an hour.

On July 1, 2017, the hourly salaries will increase to $23.74 for Group A employees, $22.92 for Group B employees and $17.81 for part-time employees.

On Jan. 1, 2018, the hourly salaries will increase to $24.34 for Group A employees, $23.52 for Group B employees and $18.41 for part-time employees.

Dispatchers who work from 2:30 to 10:30 p.m. will receive an additional 45 cents on top of their base salary. Those who work from 10:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. will receive an additional 55 cents, according to the contract.

According to a cost analysis provided by Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess, the total wages are expected to increase $28,839 over the life of the contract.

These increases are offset some by savings in health care.

Under the contract, employees can choose choose to remain in a health benefit plan through 2016 or move to a high deductible health care plan.

Beginning in 2017, all dispatchers will be moved to a high deductible health care plan with a $2,000/$4,000 annual deductible.

In 2016, the borough will contribute 50 percent of the deductible. The borough’s contribution will drop to 40 percent in 2017 and 25 percent in 2018.

According to the cost analysis, the borough will see a savings of $14,846 in health care over the life of the contract.

“It’s a continuation of our efforts to require all town employees to switch over to the high-deductible health care plan with a contribution to the health care savings plan to be made by employees,” Hess said. “Basically, in all of the contracts there is a shift to high-deductible health care plan with employees’ contribution increasing every year.”

The contract also changes how long disciplinary action stays on an employee’s personnel file.

Prior to this contract, all disciplinary actions remained on an employee’s file for 12 months.

Under the new contract, any written warning or suspension will remain on a person’s file for 24 months provided no further discipline is given to that employee. If the employee receives further disciplinary action, the discipline will not be removed for 24 months from the most recent action.

Verbal warnings are still removed from an employee’s file after 12 months.