Springdale public works employees get annual 2% raises in new pact
Wages for Springdale Borough’s public works employees will increase by about 2% per year over five years under a new labor agreement.
The wage increase is part of the five-year contract approved Tuesday by council and the five-man public works crew, members of Utility Workers Union Local 509.
Public works employees have been working under the terms of the old agreement that expired at the end of 2017.
Borough Manager Kim McAfoose said the new agreement includes 2% increases in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 and 2.5% in 2020.
She said workers will receive the increases for 2018 and to this point in the current year retroactively.
They will see new hourly rates take effect with their next paycheck, McAfoose said.
Under the old contract, there were three classifications of public works employees: laborers, water plant operator and working general foreman.
The hourly wages at the end of the previous contract were $25.46 for laborers, $29.99 for water plant operators and $33.16 for a working foreman.
The new contract creates a new category, lead water plant operator, which takes into consideration the crossover abilities and seniority of one employee who had been working as both a laborer and a water plant operator.
Hourly wages for 2018, the first year of the new pact, are $25.96 for laborers; $30.59 for water plant operators; $31.86 for the lead water plant operator and $33.82 for the working foreman.
By the end of the new contract on Dec. 31, 2022, the hourly rate will rise to $27.83 for laborers; $33.27 for water plant operators; $34.66 for lead water plant operator and $36.79 for the foreman.
McAfoose said health care benefits and paid time off for holidays and a personal day remain about the same.
One important concession the borough received from the union involves elimination of the time-and-a-half pay rate for flushing hydrants that was part of the previous contract.
“We now can do hydrant flushing during the day or in the evening,” McAfoose said. “Before, we could only do that in the evening.”
“We did our part to help the borough,” said Carmen Canonico, public works foreman. “We gave up double time, we gave up time-and-a-half for hydrant flushing.
“There’s a laundry list that we gave up for the new hires.”
Another item that remained the same is the workers’ retirement benefits. That continues to be a defined benefit pension plan to which the workers contribute, Canonico said.