Winchester pact edges by Town Meeting

WinchesterMA-seal

While vast amounts of wealth have been created at tech companies and in downtown Boston, getting raises can still be an uphill climb for those who work for local governments.

In Winchester, a proposed contract for the Local 888 clerical workers chapter had to face Town Meeting, which allows everyone to get their two cents in. The town’s Finance Committee opposed the proposal. The Town Meeting was held via Zoom, due to the pandemic.

Of note: Winchester is one of the wealthiest communities in the state.

The Daily Times Chronicle reported that the contract drew support from the Personnel Board and the town manager. The added cost to the town of Winchester, the Personnel Board said, would be $22,774 for the first year of the contract and then $70,864 and an additional $70,314 for the other two.

Town Meeting passed the chapter’s contract by one vote. Still opponents called for yet another vote, but failed to overturn the original vote.

The three-year contract included cost-of-living raises of 2 percent (retroactive) in the past fiscal year and again in the second year, partially retroactive. The contract, which runs through June 30, 2020, has a 2.5 percent COLA in the third year.

The contract drew fire over:

  • An increase in the technology stipend from 1 percent to 2 percent, retroactive to July 1.
  • The potential for higher raises, given the customary step scale.
  • The impact on the town budget

The contract also includes a longevity clause that gives workers an extra $100 after the first five years, $150 after 10 years, $200 after 15 years, $400 after 20 years, and $400 after 25 years. In addition: a boost to hourly pay if a worker fills in for someone in a higher pay grade.

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