LACONIA — A collective bargaining agreement between Teamsters Local 633 and the Belknap County Commission which will come before the Belknap County Convention for funding Monday night will have a $14,586.67 impact on this year's county budget and will save the county more than $26,000 next year.
The two-year contract was approved by commissioners two weeks ago and ratified by a majority vote of the 23 employees covered by the contract last week.
The agreement provides for pay-scale step increases for employees, which are based on individual performance reviews, as well as a 1.4 percent cost of living increase retroactive to April 1 of this year. In return, the employees agree to move to a less expensive health insurance plan which provides an option for dental insurance.
County Commission Chairman Dave Devoy (R-Sanbornton) said that the contract reduces health insurance costs and provides flexibility for the commissioners to change insurance carriers. Employees will change to a so-called "site of services" plan which he says will help the county keep from reaching the Affordable Care Act "Cadillac tax" threshold, which is a penalty on expensive health insurance plans that is due to kick-in in 2018.
A cost summary of the contract shows health insurance costs for the covered employees dropping from $336,433 this year to $322,543, a $13,890 decline, and from $356,881 next year to $300,400, a $56,481 decline.
In March the Belknap County Convention unanimously rejected a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters local, which would have added $25,581 to the 2015 county budget.
The convention is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday evening at the Belknap County Complex. It will be preceded by a meeting of the convention's Executive Committee at 4:30 p.m. Commissioners are asking for the transfer from the Jail Planning account in the Department of Corrections' 2015 budget in order to fund a pilot program at the House of Correction which would provide assessment services to determine treatment needs of jail inmates.
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