Gaines reaches 3-year contract with highway union

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 February 2018 at 9:53 am

2 motor equipment operators will now pay 20% towards health insurance

GAINES – The Town Board on Monday approved a three-year contract with the union representing two full-time motor equipment operators in the Highway Department.

The workers’ contract expired after 2016 but was extended in 2017. The new three-year agreement includes a five-step pay scale for the first time.

It also requires the workers to pay 20 percent of the costs for health insurance.

The contract also increases the probationary time for new hires from 26 weeks to 52 weeks. That will give the board more time to evaluate a new employee’s work performance, said Town Supervisor Joe Grube. Someone hired in March might not plow snow during a six-month probation. The year-long probation will give a chance to evaluate an employee on the full scale of work in the job, Grube said.

The town also is capping its maximum contribution for health insurance at $12,000 annually for full-time highway employees hired in the future. That $12,000 cap doesn’t include the two current workers.

With the new five-step pay scale, a new hire would earn 80 percent of a motor equipment operator with at least five years of experience. The employees would be paid at the same rate after five years, after all five steps are reached, according to the new contract.

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