Billerica sews up new contract with better longevity benefit

PUMPED UP: Local 888’s professional and administrative unit has some new leaders eager to sit down with Billerica’s management.

PUMPED UP: Local 888’s professional and administrative unit has some new leaders eager to sit down with Billerica’s management. (File photo.)

Local 888 members in Billerica have inked a one-year contract with the town that includes a 2.8 percent wage increase and improved longevity pay. The agreement for the administrative and professional unit begins in July.

The chapter’s 30 members voted unanimously for the contract, which was then approved by Billerica Town Meeting.

The longevity benefit will help members who stay employed by the town for five years or more, said David Lenzie, the chapter leader.

Lenzie praised the chapter’s negotiating team and board along with the Local 888 staff for helping arrive at a good contract. In the run-up to negotiations, new leaders stepped up to fill vacancies. “It’s great to see a couple younger people get involved – members who can continue our union tradition on into the future,” said Lenzie, a building inpector.

Since taking on Lenzie’s former chapter post of secretary, Joe D’Angelo has already taken part in stewards’ training sponsored by Local 888. Lenzie said that the one-year agreement will give management and Local 888 members time to digest a town study that compares Billerica salaries and benefits with those in similar positions in other towns.

One sad note: Longtime chapter leader Ken Buffum died recently. His position of vice president will be filled during chapter elections in November. Buffum had been Billerica’s director of veterans services for 41 years.

Email myunion@SEIU888.org for guidelines on chapter leadership.

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