Friday, August 25, 2006

Worcester, MA. National Association of Government Employees Local 495 Settles Contract

Worcester Telegram (August 24, 2006) reports:

WORCESTER— One of Worcester’s largest labor unions yesterday settled a six-year contract with the city, ending a three-year dispute that has been just as bitter as any other labor negotiation.

Michael Lavin, president of Local 495 of the National Association of Government Employees, called it a good day after seeing his membership endorse the contract by a vote of 275-86.

“It was fair to the members and I think they showed today … that they were satisfied with what they were getting,” Mr. Lavin said.

With the settlement, the city has negotiated its so-called model contract — which gives a 9.25 percent wage increase over four years with reductions in health insurances — with all of its major labor unions except the police officials’ union. NAGE, with 500 members, is one of the largest unions to approve the contract, placing second only to the teachers’ union.

The union represents Department of Public Works laborers and Code Enforcement Department inspectors, parks and cemetery workers and city librarians, as well as water and sewer system workers, public safety dispatchers and vehicle mechanics.

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