Sea Isle City has agreed to new contracts with its seven bargaining units that include changes in health insurance plans expected to save the city about $1.2 million per year.

City officials said switching to a state health care plan will save about $100,000 per month.

The new contracts include across-the-board raises of 2.9 percent, or about $200,000 per year, city Administrator George Savastano said.

All of the bargaining units - including three from the Communications Workers of America, dispatchers, managers, and two police unions - opened contract talks early, Savastano said. Their contracts were set to expire at the end of the year.

The city began negotiating earlier this year and got its first agreements from the CWA units, dispatchers and managers, Savastano said.

"We appreciated it, and frankly all the bargaining units did the right thing by opening the contracts," he said. "They helped the city to save a lot of money, and we gave what we felt was a very fair and reasonable offer in these times."

New police contracts eliminate longevity pay - a benefit in addition to a salary based on the length of service - for new hires.

Patrolman Frank Taylor, a Fraternal Order of Police union representative for uniform officers and sergeants, said the new contracts were fair to both sides.

"We were pleased based on current trends in the state," he said. "I believe there was equal give and take on both sides."

Mayor Leonard Desiderio said City Council ratified the new contracts, which run through 2014, earlier this week.

"This ensures there will be no layoffs, no furloughs, and there's a big savings for Sea Isle City," Desiderio said, adding, "We had the Lincoln Continental of health care packages."

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