Two collective bargaining agreements increasing pay for police officers and public works department employees were approved by the Bethalto Village Board last night.  Members voted 4-2 in favor of the agreements that will provide three-percent pay increases over three years for employees in each department with both labor unions offering concessions in exchange for the increases.

The concessions made were the elimination of the early retirement program and the decision to make workers liable for ten percent of any increase in health insurance in the future.  Bethalto Mayor Alan Winslow tells The Big Z that because of the union concessions, he's happy with the end result:

Click here for Winslow's comments

Board Trustee Dan McRae told the Big Z voted no on both agreements and says that he thinks a slightly lower pay increase would have been more appropriate.

Click here for Mcrae's comments

Fellow Trustee Brady Dugger also voted no on the agreements citing the Public Works Department wanting more holiday pay than the amount in the current contract as one of the reasons for the way he voted.

Click here for Dugger's comments

However, Mayor Winslow says that as health insurance is the second biggest expense to the village overall, so as a concession, they couldn't ask for much more. 

In the end Dugger tells The Big Z that in a perfect world, with all of the sewer issues in Bethalto the increase could have been a little smaller.

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Also at the meeting two members of the public spoke about issues pertaining to the rental of the baseball diamonds in town, in particular the difficulty the local teams are having with access to the mounds and bases on short notice. This is also largely due to the result of the inability of any team to use Sports Complex Two due to its non-ADA compliance.

The next board meeting will be on May 2nd at 7:15pm.

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