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After 3 Years of Negotiations, East Windsor Selectmen Approve Police Contract

Dispatchers contract also approved at meeting held Tuesday evening.

The East Windsor Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved the collective bargaining agreements for its police and dispatchers union.

It’s the first time that the police and dispatchers had separate contracts, according to First Selectman Denise Menard.

The police agreement, which covers about 25 employees in the department, will see wage increases of 6.25 percent over the 3-year term, which is set to expire this year.

The pay increases, the total of which Menard did not have available during a telephone interview Wednesday, will be retroactive.

“It was a long negotiation,” Menard said. “It was a give and take on both sides. I think it was a fair, compromising contract.”

Indeed, contracts that are negotiated that long tend to find their way into the municipal binding arbitration process.

The police agreement calls for 2 percent increases in years 1 and 2 of the deal, with a pay rise of 2.25 percent in the final year.

The dispatchers bargaining unit, which comprises five employees, will receive a pay increase of 5.75 percent over the life of the 3-year deal, which will expire in 2015.

The dispatchers will receive a 2 percent pay increase this year, a 2.25 percent increase next year and a 1.5 percent increase in the final year of the agreement.

The negotiations with the dispatchers was as short as the negotiations with the police was long.

“It was a rather quick process and they did a great job for everybody concerned,” Menard said.

One of the major stumbling blocks for the entire process is health care. For the first time, according to Menard, all town employees have the same insurance plan.

Menard said that at one point the town had nine insurance plans for just 59 employees, which made things difficult administratively.

“It was not practical and it was not in the best interest of the town or the employees,” Menard said, adding that consolidating the plans down to one was “a radical thing to do.”

Menard credited the police and public works unions for stepping up and initially agreeing to the plan.

“Kudos to them for taking that hard step,” she said.

In exchange for the consolidation, Menard said that the town kept the employees’ co-pay at 10 percent across the board.

“Everybody has a level playing field,” she said.

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