Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Bethlehem Township Approves Two Union Contracts
With little discussion, Bethlehem Township Commissioners approved two new union contracts at their April 6 meeting. By a vote of 4-0, with Pat Breslin being absent, three-year agreements were ratified with AFSCME and the Teamsters. AFSCME is the bargaining unit for around 25 employees in public works and the physical plant and information services departments. The Teamsters represents about ten clerical employees. The agreements run from 2015-2017.
These contracts include signing bonuses of $1,100 for each AFSCME participant and $1000 for each Teamster. There will also be payraises of two percent this and next year, followed by a three percent increase in 2017, the final year of the contracts.
Health insurance coverage will cost workers $25 per month for single coverage and $50 per month for families. In 2017, that cost will double. There will be slight increases in the co-pays. A doctor's office visit goes up from $10 to $15 and ER visits go up from $25 to $75, but urgent care co-pay decreases from $35 to $20.
Both contracts will decrease sick days for new hires. They will drop from 15 sick days with a 50% buyback to 10 sick days with a 75% buyback.
AFSCME has also agreed to switch to a defined contribution pension plan for new hires. The Teamsters had agreed to a similar switch in 2013.
How does this affect the staff?
A heavy equipment operator with three years of experience, and who is currently paid $25.80 per hour, will see his ages climb to $27,10 per hour by 2017. A Clerk 1, who starts at an hourly wage of $15.75, will see that climb to $16.88 in 2017.