LACONIA — Belknap County has reached an agreement on a two-year contract with employees represented by Teamsters Local 633.
The contract was approved by a 2-1 vote of the County Commissioners last week, the commissioners announced Wednesday. This week the pact was approved by a majority vote of union membership. The contract will now go the Belknap County Convention for approval of the cost items.
The agreement provides for step increases for employees, which are based on individual performance reviews, as well as a 1.4 percent cost of living increase. In return, the employees agree to move to a less expensive health insurance plan which provides an option for dental insurance.
A press release issued by the commission said the new contract ''is consistent with the Commissioners' long term goal to avoid health insurance plans that will trigger the impending "Cadillac tax" in 2018.
If approved by the County Delegation, this contract will authorize the first pay raises for any county employees since 2012.
"The (negotiating) team was instructed by the Commissioners to consider input from the County Delegation. When the Delegation turned down the cost items presented back in March the Delegation indicated that they wanted a two-year agreement rather than a three-year contract, and also wanted the contract to allow the Commissioners to change health insurance providers so long as coverage benefits remained substantially similar. Both of these goals were accomplished with this agreement.''
In March the Belknap County Convention unanimously rejected a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local Union 633, which would have added $25,581 to the 2015 county budget.
The three-year contract with the county's newest union, which represents 21 mid-level managers, had been approved by the previous county commissioners as one of their last acts in office in late December 2014.
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