The Legislative Council approved contracts Monday for several town unions, but parts of the contract will still be going to arbitration.
The four-year contracts for the Public Works, Supervisors, Parks and Recreation and Dispatchers unions offer the same benefits as the contracts approved last month for the Town Hall and Library unions, according to attorney Jason Stanevich of Littler Mendelson, which represented the town in the negotiations.
But the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on two sticking points — the so-called "zipper clause" and sick leave buy back pension credits — so they will go to arbitration, probably in November or December, Stanevich said.
"It depends on the availability of the arbitrators," he told the council. "This is generally a busy time of year for them because it's when the teacher's contracts are negotiated and go to arbitration."
A zipper clause is "a clause in an employment agreement in which both parties waive the right to demand bargaining on any matter not dealt with in the contract, regardless of whether that matter was contemplated when the contract was negotiated or signed," according to USLegal.com. "A zipper clause in a written contract makes it clear that only the promises contained in that writing are part of the employment relationship."
The contracts, which run through June 30, 2017, call for raises of 1.95 percent in the first year — which is the current fiscal year — and increases of 2 percent for the next three years.
The contracts go into effect immediately upon ratification despite the two items headed to arbitration, Stanevich said.
"It is my position that they go into effect immediately," he said. That means that employees will have open enrollment for health care in the next 30 days, he said. The new contracts reduce the number of insurance options from three to two, he said, and one of those options is new.