Hellertown public works employees will receive three percent raises in 2015, 2016 and 2017 under a newly-approved four-year contract that was announced at Monday night’s borough council meeting.
The so-called “non-uniformed employees” will have their wages frozen for the first one-and-a-half years of the new contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2017.
That wage freeze is essentially retroactive, since the agreement came after nearly one-and-a-half years of negotiations.
Council president Tom Rieger said a change to the terms under which future public works department retirees receive health insurance coverage will also result in “substantial future savings for the borough.”
Employees who have already retired will continue to have their health insurance costs covered throughout their lifetime, but those who retire in the future will only be eligible to receive a maximum of $350 per month through Dec. 31, 2022.
Current employees will also be paying more for their health insurance, with their share of the cost increasing from four percent in 2015 to five percent in 2016, and six percent in 2017.
Borough manager Cathy Hartranft said one other change involves the amount of time an employee must work before he becomes eligible to receive three weeks of paid vacation. That amount of time has been reduced, she said, although she didn’t specify how many years of service will qualify an employee for a three-week holiday.
Rieger noted that the contract as of Monday had already been signed by one of the union’s bargaining members “and will be signed tomorrow by the other one.”