Union contract negotiations

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette The Ontonagon Village Council renegotiates public employee compensation. From left to right: President Pro-Tem Elmer Marks, Manager Joseph Erickson, Trustee Donald Chastan, and Trustee Mike Mogan.

ONTONAGON — On Monday, the Village Council approved a new contract for public employees.

Negotiating with The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, several changes were made to go into effect Jan 1.

The contract renegotiation resulted in a two percent increase in employee early compensation.

“I would like to thank the union for their reasonable requests,” trustee Mike Mogan said.

Changes include eliminating a $150 safety bonus which was rolled into employee wages causing a pay increase of seven cents an hour.

Group life insurance was increased to $10,000 and the boot/clothes allowances were rolled into an equivalent reimbursement account of $250.

Though wages will receive no increase, the costs of the 16.35 percent health insurance increase will be absorbed by the village.

The contract was approved unanimously and council members were pleased with how the negotiations had gone.

The meeting was described as quick and to the point.

“It was just easy. Everybody was on the same team,” said trustee Tony Smydra.