Northampton County Council Thursday night approved a three-year collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME District Council 88, which represents 195 county employees.
Under the agreement -- which county officials says pertains to “residual” employees who do not belong to other unions in positions such as operations, maintenance and general clerical -- the workers will receive yearly cost-of-living increases while being required to contribute more to health insurance.
“I think it’s a reasonable contract,” County Executive John Stoffa said. “There were a lot of concessions from both sides.”
The union membership previously signed off on the agreement prior to County Council’s unanimous vote, according to Stoffa. The employees represented by the union had been working without a contract since the beginning of last year.
The agreement, which is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011, includes a lump sum payment of $875 to all full-time employees for the first year, with three-percent cost of living adjustments for each of 2012 and 2013.
Union members are being required to increase health insurance contributions during the length of the contract from 1 to 3 percent for a single employee; from 1.5 to 3.5 percent for an employee and one dependent; and from 2 to 4 percent for a family.
The contract also includes increases in yearly incremental longevity bonuses for those who have been employed by the county for five years or more. Employees with 5-9 years experience will receive a yearly lump sum payment of $250. That number incrementally increases until an employee reaches a tenure of 35 years, at which time the bonus maxes out at $2,000 per year (from $1,400 in the previous contract).
The new contract also includes a slight reduction in sick leave by one day per year.