Waterford — The Representative Town Meeting has approved a new four-year contract with the city’s 72 municipal employees.
The RTM supported the contract in a 16-3 vote Wednesday. Three of its members were absent.
First Selectman Daniel Steward said Tuesday that there were no changes made to the contract, which includes a wage increase of less than 6 percent over the four years.
“There was a lot of discussion on it and we went through a number of issues,” Steward said. “Many of the members have very valid points.”
He said the discussion centered on comparing the contract with those in surrounding communities and said that the RTM already has plans to change some of the contract language when the next round of negotiations opens on the contract, which expires in 2015.
The RTM’s approval ends a year and a half of negotiations with Local 1303-037 of Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Because the town owed retroactive pay to the 72 workers for failing to negotiate a contract by July 1, 2011, the employees will not receive a wage increase this year. However, in 2013 and 2014 union members will receive a wage increase of 2 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively.
They received a 2 percent wage increase for their 2011 retroactive pay and the entire contract calls for less than a 6 percent increase over the four years.
Through June 30, 2013, the employee share of health benefits will remain at 6.5 percent but will increase to 7 percent on July 1, 2013. It will increase to 8 percent in July 2014. Patient co-pays will increase from $5 to $20 and the annual maximum for prescriptions will increase from $1,000 to $2,000.