One trustee says the township can't afford the new employee package.
By MARY SMITH
MINERAL RIDGE -- Weathersfield Township trustees Wednesday approved a new three-year employee contract expected to cost the township an additional $5,500 a year.
Whether the new contract is good depends on which township official you ask.
Trustee John Vogel voted against the pact, saying later he believes the township can't afford the new agreement. He called the contract "inflationary."
He said the township is going to lose a substantial amount of money before things even out over the next four years. He added that there is a 10 percent reopener in the contract, if the road and bridge fund loses that much income in a year. If that happens, there will be new discussion on wages and saving jobs, but he added this could place the manpower "in the hands of the trustees."
Vogel said that the township cannot afford the package, and it is "not fair to employees based on potential cuts at the state level."
Vogel added that he asked for the contract to be limited to one year, but the idea died for lack of a second.
Trustee Chairman Fred Bobovnyk said, "I think it is a very fair and equitable deal. They won and we won." He noted the township can react if the state Legislature cuts money coming into the township with a clause in the contract for a reopener, and the township also got a cap on hospitalization insurance costs and an increase in employee co-pays.
The four employees accepted a pay increase of 3.4 percent annually in the new, three-year pact, which replaces a previous three-year contract that expires June 30.
The average pay increase will be 50 cents an hour for employees.