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Upper Township public works employees get 2% raises in new contract

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UPPER TOWNSHIP — After months of working without a contract, public works employees have approved a three-year deal with the township, to include salary increases of 2 percent a year.

The former contract with the members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees expired last December. Township Committee unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the new contract in August, and according to Scott Morgan, Upper Township’s business administrator, the union members have ratified the agreement.

It will be retroactive to the first of the year.

Local President Brain Keenan, a truck driver with public works, was not immediately available for comment.

In addition to the raise, the other change in the contract increases the reimbursement under the vision plan from $150 a year to $300, Morgan said. He described the salary increase in the contract as close to the statewide average for municipal employees.

There are 38 employees in the department. Of that, 31 are included under the new contract, Morgan said. Supervisors are not included in the agreement. In total, there are 125 employees in the township, with only the AFSCME members represented by a union, Morgan said.

So can the other township employees also expect a 2 percent raise? It sounds possible, but Morgan made no commitment.

“The mayor and committee members are very cognizant of that. We are always looking to ensure that there is a balance,” Morgan said.

According to a resolution approved last year, most of the members of Upper Township’s Public Works Department make between $40,000 and $55,000 a year.

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