JAY — Selectpersons voted unanimously Monday night to ratify two union contracts that give employees a 1½ percent wage increase each year of the three-year agreement, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said Tuesday.

The board made the decision after an executive session.

The contracts cover nine employees in the Highway Department and one employee in the Sewer Department.

Union workers were given the option of getting a 1 percent increase each year or 1½ percent increase, if the unions agreed to reduced wages and health benefits for any new hires following the approval of the contracts, she said.

They chose the higher wage increase.

Under the new contracts, any new employee hired will receive 10 percent less than the current wage schedule. The wage depends on what position the person is hired to fill, she said.

The new employee will also pay more for health insurance than current employees, she said.

Currently, the town pays 100 percent of a single plan for an employee and 80 percent of dependents’ insurance.

The town will now pay 80 percent of the new hire’s health insurance and 80 percent of dependents’ coverage.

Other changes in the pact for new employees are that they will not receive longevity increases as current employees get, LaFreniere said.

New hires will also have to wait until after 15 years of employment to be entitled to four weeks of vacation. Currently, employees get three weeks in the seven- to 12-year stage of employment.

Now the level will be from seven to 15 years, she said.

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