Village, DPW ink contract

Formal job classifications were written to clarify duties of workers for auto mechanic, crew leader, water treatment operator, truck drivers, laborers and motor equipment operators.

"They need accurate job descriptions to avoid the 'do it all' possibility in the department," said Romano. "They have many responsibilities, and need their work accurately outlined."

The village retained the right to contract out for work outside the realm of expertise of the Ballston Spa DPW, or when they lack sufficient equipment.

"We work on a regular basis with other municipalities for efficiency and cost containment," said Romano. "For instance, we do some of our roadwork and paving in conjunction with the town of Milton."

The agreement stipulates outside contractors can only be used if they do not result in the lay-off or termination of any village DPW employee.

A holiday schedule was established in keeping with national holidays. Employees will also receive five personal days, four days for family bereavement time, and sick days based on months of service. Vacation time is accrued starting at one week for those employed for six months to one year; and then one additional day per year of service. Employees can accrue up to 40 hours of paid vacation time to carry over into the next calendar year.

A clothing allowance was instituted under which all employees will receive $90 per year for protective footwear, which is required on the job. Work shirts are given to all employees at the cost of the village.

Romano and trustee Dick Duffy were advised by Milton Mitchell, the negotiator who represented the village, while Paul Engel went to the table on behalf of the union. Mitchell was selected as a consultant, with experience under his belt including tenure as an engineer with the City of Schenectady's DPW, where he successfully drafted union contracts there. Mitchell also had a stint as acting supervisor of the Ballston Spa DPW in 2006. The contract takes effect June 1, and runs through May 2011.

"We're pleased with the outcome," said David Brown, union president for the DPW. "Since this is our first contract, we weren't sure how it would go, but it was smooth on both sides.""

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