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Northampton approves raises for 139 municipal employees in four unions

NORTHAMPTON — Nearly 120 city employees are in line for modest raises over the next three years following recent contract agreements between the city and their unions.

Three unions representing 117 administrators and professionals, public works employees and deputy fire chiefs have all ratified new contracts that the City Council Thursday night agreed to fund. The three-year deals will cost the city about $93,500, part of the money set aside for raises in this year’s budget.

The unions are the Northampton Association of Municipal Employees, or NAME, which represents 57 Department of Public Works employees; the Northampton Administrative and Professional Employees Association, or NAPIA, representing 55 department heads, assistant department heads and other professionals; and the five-member Deputy Fire Chiefs union.

The council also agreed to fund a one-year contract between the Trustees of Forbes Library and the 22-member Forbes Library Employee Association. That contract will cost the city $15,400.

Members of NAME will receive a 1 percent raise in the current fiscal year, a 2 percent raise in fiscal 2015 and a 1.5 percent raise in fiscal 2016. The raise in the current fiscal year will begin Jan. 1, 2014.

The NAPIA contract calls for a 3 percent raise in the current fiscal year, no raise in fiscal 2015 but the introduction of a new step system for employees previously not on steps, and raises provided by moving up a step in fiscal 2016 with employees at the top step getting a 2 percent increase.

The deputy fire chiefs agreed to a new step scale and no raises in the current fiscal year, a 0.5 percent raise in fiscal 2015 and a 1 percent raise in fiscal 2016.

Forbes employees will get a 2 percent raise under their one-year contract.

One municipal union — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents clerical workers — does not have a new contract for the current fiscal year, Mayor David J. Narkewicz said. He anticipates wrapping up contract negotiations with that union next month. The mayor said he will also likely ask the council to fund cost-of-living raises for all municipal employees who are not represented by unions.

During the Override discussions the estimated tax rate was $14.26 per thousand. What rate was approved for the new tax rate by the city council? Thanks in advance for any help. Fred

Hi Fred, The new tax rate is $15.40 per thousand. This was approved on second reading at the Nov. 21 City Council meeting. Here is a story after the first vote was approved on Nov. 7. http://www.gazettenet.com/search/9298897-95/northampton-keeps-single-tax-rate-councilors-discuss-breaks-for-lower-valued-homes

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