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East Hills Village, union sign pact

After three years of negotiations, the Village of East Hills and its Department of Public Works union have signed an agreement that calls for annual raises but a reduction in vacation time and contributions to health care costs for some employees.

The agreement, which runs through June 30, 2014, was facilitated by a mediator from the New York State Public Employment Relations Board after the two sides reached an impasse in 2010.

Under the contract, employees in the Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000 union will receive annual 2.5 percent wage increases. Workers will also receive retroactive increases for 2009 and 2010.

In return, the 15 union members agreed to a change in how vacation time is accrued. Instead of getting one extra day per year for the first 10 years, workers will get five vacation days after five years and five additional days after 10 years. Plus, employees hired after June 1, 2010, will have to pay 10 percent of their health insurance costs. The village will continue to pay 100 percent of those costs for employees hired before June 1, 2010, according to the agreement.

The village will also implement flexible schedules to increase labor and equipment savings, according to a village news release.

“We have sought to give our employees a fair and reasonable increase in compensation that would be affordable for our residents, and within our budget,” Mayor Michael Koblenz said. “The new agreement addresses our fiscal constraints and the level of reserves we provided for the increases.”

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