Unions decide to keep salary increases

The unions that represent policemen and DPW workers in town have decided not to cut salary increases for fiscal year 2010. Selectmen had approached the unions asking them to consider a 1% decrease in raises for next year. I’ve also heard that the firefighter’s union decided not to accept the decrease, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

On the flip side, the union that represents clerical staff in town voted to accept the 1% reduction. In their recommended budget for next year, Selectmen have also factored in a 1% cut to non-union town employees including department heads, library employees, administrators, and others.

Just to be clear, this isn’t a 1% cut in current salaries. It’s a 1% reduction in the raises planned for next year.

For the police department that 1% reduction is the equivalent of $12K. For the fire department it’s $17K, and for DPW it’s about $7K. In lieu of decreasing raises, the departments were asked to absorb the cut elsewhere in their budgets. For police and DPW that means cuts to overtime.

Selectmen Bill Boland has also asked the schools to consider the same 1% cut. As of last week he said he had not heard back from them. He also said the police and DPW unions would reconsider their position if the schools did the same.

Update 03/31: I got official confirmation today that the union representing firefighters voted not to accept the 1% decrease.

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