Town, unions reach new contract

By Lisa Williams Ackley

Staff Writer

Bridgton police and public works employees have a new three-year contract in place, after the Bridgton Board of Selectmen voted to accept the terms reached in negotiations that took place over the past several months.

Selectmen Arthur Triglione Sr., Paul Hoyt, Doug Taft and Woody Woodward voted unanimously to accept the terms of both contracts. Selectman Bernie King was not able to attend the board’s meeting Sept. 27.

“It appears we have agreement from all parties related to the Police Department,” Bridgton Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz told selectmen and the public, at Tuesday night’s selectmen’s meeting.

Public Works waiting to approve contract

The Bridgton Police Department officers affected by the new contract have agreed to the terms, the town manager said Sept. 27, while Bridgton Public Works members “first want to know what the cost changes to the premiums will be before any final acceptance,” Berkowitz said.

Town employees

will get same

The selectmen also voted to authorize the town manager to institute the same compensation schedule for all non-union town employees.

Selectmen Taft abstained from voting on this motion, as he has a relative who is employed by the Town of Bridgton.

Police Department

contract terms

The following compensation schedule will be followed for both the Bridgton Police Department union members, as well as non-union town employees. It will also be used for the Public Works employees, when they formally decide to accept the terms of the negotiated contract.

For the period beginning July 1, 2010 and ending on June 30, 2011, there will be no increase in compensation and from the period beginning July 1, 2011 and ending on June 30, 2012 there will be no increase in compensation, however, a $250 stipend will be paid to all personnel in lump sum and on June 30, 2012, there will be 12 cents added to the employees’ hourly rates of pay.

There will be a three percent increase for these same employees, for the period beginning on July 1, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2013.

Berkowitz also said that, effective on Jan. 1, 2012, the town will change to a POS 200 health insurance plan and will establish a Health Reimbursement Account for each person based upon the level of health insurance coverage they purchase — $300 for a single person and $500 for two people (employee and spouse) and a family.

A POS health plan is basically a combination of the HMO and PPO plans, except that the employee will be required to designate an in-network physician to be their primary health care provider.

Under the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust’s POS 200 plan, employees will pay a $200 deductible if single and a $400 deductible for family coverage. Maximum annual out-of-pocket expenses will be $1,200 for a single person and $2,400 under the family coverage. The POS 200 health plan pays 80 percent of inpatient services, both in-network and out-of-network, after the deductible.

Four-day work week for police

A two-week notice will be given, prior to the Bridgton Police Department transitioning to a four-day, 10 hours per day work week, according to Berkowitz. Previously, the police officers had a five-day work schedule.

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