Derry Council Approves SEA Unit’s Contract

Derry PATE Was Out of Contract for Three Years

After working for more than two and a half years without a contract, the SEA members of the Derry Professional, Administrative and Technical Employees (PATE) unit have finally received funding for a new deal. The Derry Town Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday night to approve the deal. One council member abstained.

The three-year contract gives the 29 employees in the PATE unit their first raise since 2010, but also increases employees’ health care contributions. Chapter President Clint Havens said he was glad the town was finally able to move forward.

“After three years of going without pay increases and having the legislation with the retirement system hit us in the wallets, it’s nice to be able to sign a deal and put it behind us,” Havens said.

The town and PATE went through mediation and fact-finding last summer. While the PATE unit accepted the fact-finders report, the Town Council did not. At that point, the sides went back to the bargaining table. They reached a tentative agreement in January.

“In going back to the table, we still managed to include some of the recommendations from the fact-finder’s report,” Havens said.

The new contract includes a salary increase of 2.5 percent this year; with additional raises in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 of 1.5 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Employees will contribute more – from 14.5 percent to 20 percent – for health care, though co-pays have been eliminated. In presenting the contract to the Council, Derry’s Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said the deal met the guidelines that the town was trying to follow.

Despite Budreau’s recommendation, a pair of councilors tried to put off the vote and eventually voted against it. Havens said that reflects a changing political climate.

“For the councilors that set these goals three years ago, we feel that we came to an agreement that met their goals,” Havens said. “They were the councilors that voted in the affirmative on Tuesday. The freshman councilors who voted against it clearly have a different agenda.”

Havens said he expected that they would sign the contract soon.

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