Borough approves new deal for police dispatchers

Kelly Orsni, a dispatcher for the Naugatuck Police Department for 23 years, works at the dispatch center earlier this year. The borough approved a new three-year contract for police dispatchers earlier this month. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The borough recently approved a new three-year contract for police dispatchers.

The contract was authorized at the Board of Mayor and Burgesses’ Nov. 14 meeting. The bargaining unit includes six police dispatchers.

The contract runs retroactively from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015. The deal includes wage increases of 2.15 percent in the first two years and 2.2 percent in the last year, according to Mayor Robert Mezzo, who detailed the agreement on his blog.

The total increase in wages over the deal is about $32,920, according to Mezzo. The agreement also includes an increase of roughly $8,200 in ancillary wage costs such as life insurance, clothing allowances, and overtime. Together, the cost increase of the contract to the borough is a little more than $41,000.

However, more than half of that cost is offset by savings from health care concessions.

According the Mezzo, the borough saved roughly $25,800 from health care concessions, making the deal’s net cost to the borough about $15,300.

The deal includes two options for health care, a preferred provider organization or PPO and a high deductible health plan or HDHP, which offers a health savings account. Under the PPO, the premium cost share will increase from 8 percent to 9 percent in 2013, then to 10 percent and 11.5 percent in the following two years respectively, according to Mezzo.

Under the high deductible health plan, police dispatchers can choose to enroll in the health savings account plan without paying a premium cost share, Mezzo said. Premium cost shares for members will increase to 4 percent and 6 percent respectively Jan. 1, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015.

According to Mezzo, the deductibles for members enrolled in the health savings account will gradually increase. Starting Jan. 1, 2013 members will pay 25 percent of their deductible, that figure rises to 35 percent on Jan. 1, 2014 and 50 percent on Jan. 1, 2015.

Mezzo thanked the dispatchers, particularly the representatives on the negotiating team, for a respectful and productive dialogue.

“Those involved in the negotiations participated in multiple meetings and discussed several complex topics that ultimately produced an agreement that benefits the employees as well as borough taxpayers,” Mezzo wrote. “Although members constitute the borough’s smallest [collective bargaining unit], Naugatuck’s police dispatchers do a tremendous job keeping the borough safe.”