The Town of Babylon has reached an agreement with an employee union for a new eight-year contract.
The Civil Service Employees Association, the town’s white-collar union, agreed to the contract last month after starting negotiations in January.
“We worked beautifully with the town, it was very cooperative,” said Diane Caparso, CSEA president and a senior clerk-typist with the town’s code enforcement department.
The CSEA represents 118 town workers. Teamsters Local 237 has 167 members working for the town and there are an additional 62 non-union administrative workers.
Other than salary increases, the collective bargaining agreement, which begins in January 2017, has few changes over the union’s current eight-year contract, Caparso said.
The union’s current contract had annual salary increases of 2.5 percent for the first two years, 3 percent for the next two years, and then a cost of living increase as set by the U.S. Department of Labor of between 2.25 percent and 3 percent for each of the remaining four years.
The new contract has a cost of living increase for each of the eight years of between 1.5 percent and 2 percent. Caparso said the town had initially proposed a range of 1 percent to 2 percent each year.
“We are proud of this new contract which keeps labor costs low while providing fair cost-of-living increases to our hardworking employees,” Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said in a statement. “The CSEA have been wonderful partners in protecting Babylon taxpayers while maintaining our great services.”
Of the union’s workers, 85 showed up to the vote, Caparso said, with 83 voting in favor of the contract.
Salary increases were a concern, but health care costs were a high priority with members, she said. While new employees pay 15 percent of their insurance premiums as of 2009, all others have their insurance covered by the town, she said.
“The most important thing to my members was staying with the medical benefits we have,” she said. “We really have excellent benefits so everyone was very happy with how it worked out.”