The proposal for a new work policy for non-union full-time employees and elected officials was the topic of much conversation at the Village of Florida Board meeting held on Wed., Nov. 9. The proposition, which would increase benefits for full-time non-union employees in the Village, was brought into question.
Village of Florida resident, Patricia Rotella, again voiced her concern about what types of benefits, how much and who would receive them in the Village. Mayor Jim Pawliczek reassured Rotella that the policy was just a proposal at this time. Rotella continued asking which employees would receive these new benefits and at what cost?
Mayor Pawliczek said that the proposal was based off a formula that would affect non-union employees based on how long they have been employed by the Village. Rotella asked in return how long the longest non-union full-time employee had been working in the Village. The Mayor answered 32 years. Rotella replied saying that according to the formula that would mean that that employee would receive over six weeks of vacation a year aside from government holidays. She followed up her statement asking about healthcare benefits.
Mayor Pawliczek replied that all full-time employees get healthcare at no charge. Rotella asked if this new policy included dependents. The Mayor said that it would only include the dependents of employees hired before 2005 and anyone hired after 2005 would have to pay 30 percent for dependents. However, he also mentioned that retirees get 100 percent of medical insurance covered.
For her final, question Rotella asked the Board how much this new policy would cost the Village. Trustee Brian Slattery answered saying that the new policy would cost about $155,000 per employee over their lifetime. Mayor Pawliczek added again that the policy was just a proposal and will continue to be discussed as the concern was brought to the Village Board by the employees.
Rotella then asked how the new policy would be funded and the Mayor responded through taxes. At that point Rotella addressed her main concern, that the policy would be funded by taxes which means it would raise the taxes of homeowners in the Village.
Pawliczek responded saying that the policy is striving to provide union-like benefits for the non-union full-time employees because a majority of them were hired before the union came to the Village ten years ago. He added that many other Towns and Villages were doing the same thing.
“It gives the worker something to work for,” said Trustee Slattery.
After Mayor Pawliczek answered all of Rotella’s concerns he made a motion for the proposal to be tabled until the Board could gain more information. The Board voted to postpone approving the proposal until receiving further information from insurance companies as to what other options might be available to the Village on this matter and at what cost to the taxpayers. The Board will discuss further action during their upcoming work and executive sessions.
Seward/Mapes House Restoration Continues
Trustee Slattery gave a report on the progress of the Seward/Mapes House restoration. According to Slattery, the contractors are 80 percent done with the roof. However, he said they would not move forward with further restoration efforts until they receive the necessary funding. The Village is still waiting the funds from the State’s matching grant. Mayor Pawliczek proposed that for now the Restoration Foundation take a loan of $50,000 from the Village, to be repaid once the grant comes through, to continue the project. The motion was made and approved.
Matthew Bernhardt Day
Mayor Pawliczek read a Proclamation from the Village to declare Nov. 19, 2016 as Matthew Bernhardt Day in honor of his service to his community and his achievement of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts. Bernhardt’s project was building a shed for use by the community garden at St. Stephen’s the First Martyr Parish. He dedicated many hours of labor to the project and many years of service to the Town as a Boy Scout. Pawliczek announced that a copy of the Proclamation would be made and given to Bernhardt.
Trustee Positions Open
Lastly, the Board addressed the upcoming Village Elections and the two Village Trustee positions that will be open for two terms each. The next general election is set for Tues., Mar. 21.
Next Meeting Set for Dec. 14
The next Board meeting will be held on Wed., Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Hall, located at 33 S. Main St. in the Village of Florida.