By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Unionized employees of the Belknap County House of Corrections have voted unanimously to approve a proposed two-year contract with the county which will provide them with their first pay raise in four years.
Belknap County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said that all 21 members of the Belknap County Corrections Officer Union this week voted for the contract, which has been negotiated in recent weeks by union representatives and the commissioners.
DeVoy said that the contract, if approved by the Belknap County Delegation, will save the county $64,000 in health insurance costs over the next two years.
The contract provides a 1.4 percent pay raise in each of the two years as well as step increases, which could increase total compensation by 4.4 percent each year for eligible workers.
It also provided for health insurance changes from an HMO plan to a "site of service" plan. DeVoy said that change will save the county $3,000 per employee, even though the county will pick up the entire cost of the health insurance premiums. Currently employees pay 5 to 6.5 percent of the premiums for the HMO plan.
There is also an incentive bonus of $1,000 in the first year for employees who make the switch to the site of service plan, which provides for $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 deductibles on single, two-person and family plans.
DeVoy said that he has contacted Belknap County Delegation Chairman Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) about the contract, which needs approval from the delegation before it can take effect, and asked him to set up a meeting of the delegation at which the contract can be voted on.
The proposed contract is similar to the collective bargaining agreement between Teamsters Local 633 and the county which was approved by a 10-5 vote by the County Delegation last August.
DeVoy said that contract talks will be held next week with the new union representing the Belknap County Sheriff's Department. On Monday employees of the department voted unanimously to switch from the State Employees Association to the Teamsters Union.
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