By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
After three years without a raise, Town of Windsor employees will be getting a 2 percent annual salary increase each of the next two years.
The Town Council on Wednesday unanimously approved raises for three groups representing 85 employees, but they still will have to take some time off without pay
around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
The biggest unit is the Windsor Employees Association, followed by the supervisory and management employee groups.
The overall additional cost of the new contracts to the $14.9 million general fund budget is approximately $93,000 annually, Town Manager Linda Kelley said Thursday.
Windsor’s financial outlook is stabilizing and “we are able to compensate our staff with these packages represented by the agreements,” she said.
“We are continuing our reserve policy of at least 25 percent of operating expenses and employees are continuing to help balance the budget,” she said.
Workers will continue to be subject to furloughs, or mandatory, unpaid time off around the holidays. But that’s being reduced to 50 hours from the current 60 hours.
And employees will have the option to use accrued leave time instead, rather than take time off without pay, Kelly said.
She said that will reduce balances of leave time on the books, since employees can cash out certain vacation hours now at the end of the year.
The new contract also will end a form of “pension spiking” for management employees.
Retirement payments based on the last year of an employee’s salary will no longer be calculated with added “special compensation,” or what the town picks up toward the employee’s share of pension costs.
The new formula takes effect July 1 for new management employees and mid-2015 for current employees.
It’s calculated to save $20,000 annually.
Although medical insurance costs are increasing, Kelly said employees on a family plan will continue to pick up 15 percent of the cost of their insurance, and the town 85 percent.
(You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)