Ansonia Aldermen approved new five-year contracts for about 60 city employees they say will save the city about $750,000 over the next five years.
The contracts — with the unions representing employees of City Hall and the Department of Public Works — achieve most of those savings through health care costs, a lawyer who negotiated the deals told Aldermen Tuesday.
The contracts also call for modest raises for both groups.
Both contracts expired June 30, 2015. The city has been negotiating with both unions since, and the deals approved Tuesday will run until 2020.
The department’s 23 union employees will receive a 1.5 percent pay raise this year, retroactive to July 1, and 2 percent raises in each of the next four years.
That will increase the city’s costs about $127,456, with total savings over the course of the contract estimated at about $264,000.
Warren Holcomb, who negotiated the new contracts on the city’s behalf, said a switch by the DPW to join the Teamsters helped the city out because moving the department’s employees into the Teamsters’ own health insurance plan will save the city $369,000 over the course of the contract.
“The main objective we had . . . was to try and control the health insurance costs,” Holcomb said.
Article continues after document.
Click play on the video below to see Tuesday’s Aldermen’s meeting. Holcomb begins talking about the contracts at around the 19:30 mark.
The Teamsters’ plan also includes life insurance, for which the city formerly paid premiums for its employees, which saved another $22,500, Holcomb said.
Tim Holman, the union steward at Ansonia’s public works department, thanked Mayor David Cassetti and his staff for the new contract.
After Aldermen approved the contract unanimously, Holman said he was happy with the vote and the contract, which was approved by union members Monday.
City Hall Employees
The Aldermen also approved a new contract for about 40 employees at City Hall Holcomb said will save $500,000 to $550,000. The contract gives 2.7 percent raises.
Like the police contract, Holcomb said most of the savings was achieved through switching health insurance plans.
“It’s the same deal the police got, a high-deductible health plan with a HSA (health savings account) feature,” Holcomb said.
Employees can opt in to the city’s old health plan by paying a higher premium.
“That means the city pays exactly the same in terms of the cost of that insurance,” Holcomb said.
Article continues after document.
The health insurance switch will save the city roughly $900,000, Holcomb said.
Because of that, Holcomb said, the city agreed to higher raises — 2.7 percent each year — for City Hall employees, who will also receive a $250 signing bonus.
The Valley Indy left a message Wednesday with Rita St. Jacques, the head of the union for City Hall employees.
Aldermen approved both contracts unanimously — and enthusiastically.
“I think the city did a fantastic job,” Alderman Randolph Carroll, who represents the First Ward, said.
Alderman Lorie Vaccaro, who represents the Second Ward, also thanked members of both unions.
Alderman David Blackwell Jr., who represents the Seventh Ward, abstained from the vote. His wife is a records administrator at the police department and his mother is the city’s tax collector — both union positions.
Mayor David Cassetti said after Tuesday’s meeting the new deals are “great” for the city.
“I worked very hard on them,” the mayor said.