STAFFORD TOWNSHIP - The township Department of Public Works and its union have agreed to a four-year contract that freezes pay in the first year and requires workers to take 10 furlough days.

Township Administrator James Moran said Tuesday that Teamsters Local 97 and Public Works employees agreed to no raises in 2009 and 3 percent raises in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The agreement also stipulates that employees take 10 furlough days this year.

"The furlough days will save the town a little over $100,000 for the 10 days," Moran said.

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He said township employees in the American Federation of State and Municipal Employees have also agreed to an identical agreement.

"I'm not part of these groups, but I have a contract until 2012 and I've cut my contract raise by half a percent a year for every year up until 2012, and I'm taking 10 furlough days," he said.

He said of the 57 Public Works employees, 49 voted on the agreement - the tally was 40 for and nine against.

Moran said the township is still waiting on a contract agreement from the Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 97 for 2009 through 2012. The Police Department has also been offered the same contract - no raises in 2009 and 3 percent raises each year through 2012.

Amid contract negotiations last month, Mayor John McMenamin announced the township would lay off five officers March 31. PBA officials contend the layoffs are a negotiating tactic.

PBA attorney Stuart Alterman said he has not received pertinent financial information needed to complete contract negotiations.

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