LANSING | Village officials approved a contract extension for Public Works Department employees that will provide them with slight raises during the next few years.
The Village Board voted 4-0 on Tuesday in favor of a contract negotiated with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. Two trustees, Julie Butler and Mike Skrbina, were not present for the vote, with Village President Norm Abbott saying they were away on vacation.
Public Works employees were working under a four-year contract that gave them no raises during the first three years, and a 2 percent raise in the fourth and final year, which is the village fiscal year that begins May 1.
But that contract also had clauses allowing for terms to be renegotiated for the current fiscal year, if it could be shown that the village’s financial situation has improved.
Abbott said the deal provides Public Works employees with 1 percent pay increases for the current fiscal year, which runs through April 30.
A fifth year now is added to the deal, during which Public Works employees will receive a 2.5 percent pay increase. Abbott said that hike is similar to what was given to firefighters when their contract was recently negotiated.
Abbott said he was pleased to get another year added to the contract. He also said insurance benefits now will be provided by programs overseen by the union, rather than the village.
“It keeps our insurance costs the same,” Abbott said.
Union officials already have voted to approve the deal.
In other business, the Village Board also voted 4-0 to award a contract to Chicago-based Standard Equipment Co. for $39,380 to purchase a leaf vacuum machine for the Public Works Department.
Village Trustee Terry Kapteyn said he wanted village officials to approve the purchase now because there is a time delay between when the order is placed and when the vacuum is received for cleaning local streets once the leaves start falling from trees.
“We needed to act quickly so we can have the blower by the time the leaves fall” in autumn, Kapteyn said.