New Andover public works contract approved with cost of living increase

The city of Andover in 2013 is giving its 23 public works employees only their second raise in the last four years.

The Andover City Council Feb. 5 approved a 1.5 percent cost of living increase and a few other additions. This is the same salary increase other Andover employees got this year.

According to Andover Human Resources Manager Dana Makinen, the employees got no cost of living increases in 2010 or 2012. They received a 1 percent increase in 2011.

They were approved for a 3 percent increase in 2009, but the city had a salary furlough program for all its employees that year, so the public works employees actually had a 5 percent reduction in 2009, according to Makinen.

The last time the public works employees received more than a 1 percent raise was in 2008 when they got a 3 percent salary bump.

A representative from Teamsters Local 320 could not be reached for comment before this edition went to press.

The city and Teamsters Local 320 began negotiating a 2013 contract in May 2012. Of the 23 employees, 18 are maintenance workers who are members of Local 320. The other five are non-union supervisor employees, Makinen said.

City Administrator Jim Dickinson said negotiations were more difficult than in past years. He could not divulge many details because discussions with the council took place in closed sessions, but said getting into the benefits package details took some time.

Besides the 1.5 percent cost of living increase, public works employees who have worked for the city for 25 years or more will receive a longevity pay jump. Once they hit the 25-year mark, they will receive a 2.5 percent increase in their hourly wage. At the 30-year mark, it will be a 3 percent increase.

According to Makinen, there are four public works employees who have worked in Andover between 25 and 30 years and one employee who has been with the city for over 30 years.

Makinen said Andover already had a longevity pay program in place. The percent increases are 1 percent at 10 years, 1.5 percent at 15 years and 2 percent at 20 years.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]