Prospect, public works union OK two-year agreement

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

PROSPECT — The town and the union that represents public works employees have agreed to a new, two-year contract that follows a very familiar pattern set by agreements reached with two other unions this year.

The contract with Local 1303-370 of Council 4 AFSCME, AFL-CIO covers from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2022. The Town Council approved the deal in late October.

Under the agreement, the nine employees covered by the public works union received 2.25% raises this year and will get 2.75% raises in the 2021-22 fiscal year. The raises increase the hourly rate for employees to $30 this fiscal year and $30.83 next fiscal year, according to the contract.

Employees are eligible for health insurance provided by the town through the Connecticut State Partnership Plan 2.0. Employees are paying 15.5% of the premium cost share this fiscal year — up from 15% last fiscal year — and will pay 16% in 2021-22, according to the contract.

Two-year agreements approved in the summer with the supervisors and municipal employees unions include the exact same raises and premium cost share for employees.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said having the same increases in the contracts keeps employees equal and avoids arguments over what other unions received. He added that each contract is for two years due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said officials hope life will be back to normal when it comes time to negotiate new deals.

Under the public works contract, employees receive a pension through Connecticut’s Municipal Employees Retirement System, a public pension plan provided by the state.

The town and employees contribute to the plan. Rates are set by the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission. Chatfield said employees contribute 3.25% of their pay and the town contributes 14.95% to the plan.

Nick Tuccillo, president of the public works union, could not be reached for comment. A message left for Tuccillo at the public works garage was not returned.