Brick Township officials have reached identical pacts with all four of its employees’ collective bargaining units, agreeing on 3 percent raises each year for three years, and maintaining the current level of health insurance contributions.
The township council ratified agreements with the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Transport Workers Union and two units of the Teamsters Tuesday night. The cost of the new contract in its first year, $852,927, is already accounted for in the 2016 township budget, which will not have to be modified in order to implement the contract, said township Business Administrator Joanne Bergin.
The four contracts were the first to be negotiated for Brick Township following the sunset of “chapter 78” laws which mandate minimums for employee contributions to their health insurance coverage. With the law having expired,employees could have asked to pay less toward their benefits, however all agreed to maintain levels prescribed under the law.
“Had any lesser amount been negotiated, it would’ve necessitated a budget amendment,” said Bergin.
Employees contribute 13 percent, as a whole, to the total cost of their benefit, or $1,982,600 of $14,917,600. Individual contributions vary depending on the plan an employee chooses and their salary.
The salary increases are across-the-board for all members of the unions, which equal 94 percent of the township’s staff, from town hall workers, to public works employees, to police officers. The contract has “nothing hidden” and the increases in wages are the only cost increases included.
“These are solid contracts that allow the township to budget based on true costs,” said Bergin.”Our employees are, indeed, our greatest asset, and we will continue to work together to serve the needs of Brick Township.”
No one from the public in attendance at the meeting commented on the contract approvals.