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September 05. 2013 10:52PM

Committee supports new contract for Nashua library workers

NASHUA — An aldermanic committee this week supported a new contract with library workers that will offer them a 5.5 percent wage increase over two years.

Although the collective bargaining agreement between the Nashua Public Library Board of Trustees and the library employees union will still need to be approved by the full Board of Aldermen, the Budget Review Committee gave the contract a green light on Tuesday.

The two-year contract, if approved, will provide about 35 members of the Nashua Public Library Employees, AFT, FPE, Local 4831 with a 2.5 percent pay raise in fiscal year 2014, and a 3 percent pay hike the following year.

Thirty-five library workers are part of the union, according to the contract, however there are a total of 50 employees at the library, said Jennifer Hinderer, library director.

The agreement will expire on June 30, 2015, according to the preliminary contract. If the contract is accepted by city officials, nearly $34,500 from the city’s contingency negotiations account will be necessary to fund the proposed salary adjustments.

The current base salary total for the 35 union workers is $1,331,390. If the agreement is adopted, that base salary total will rise by $33,285 this year, and increase another $40,940 next year, according to the document.

Alderman-at-Large David Deane said he understands that library workers are not highly compensated employees, maintaining they work hard and operate the facility well.

“There is still a need for a public library,” said Deane, adding many of his relatives use the city library.

In addition to the proposed wage increases, the new contract adjusts compensation time received for working Sunday hours, amends compensation for at-home work time and offers Sunday hours to library pages, according to Attorney Stephen Bennett.

Bennett stressed that library union workers have been paying increased health insurance premiums and higher deductibles since Oct. 1, 2011, while some other city unions delayed those changes until their contracts expired.
 
The collective bargaining agreement is being recommended by the Budget Review Committee. The Board of Aldermen is expected to vote on the contract at an upcoming board meeting.


khoughton@newstote.com


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