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Two unions, Fire Fighters Association Local 2753 and AFSCME Council 31, have extended a freeze on raises through Oct. 31, granting concessions to the village for three more months in the face of COVID-related financial difficulties. This extension means the unions have agreed in total to a six-month concession on a wage increase, from May 1 to Aug. 1 in their original agreement, and from Aug. 1 until Nov.1 in their second.

The village council unanimously approved side letter agreements between the unions and the village at a meeting on Aug. 24.

Village Administrator Tim Gillian said at the meeting, “I am happy to report that the unions agreed to continue the freeze for three months.”

Previously, at a May 26 village council meeting, concessions due to COVID-19-related financial problems facing the village were granted by these two unions, who agreed to freeze raises from May 1 through July 31. Side letter agreements were ratified by a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Rory Hoskins and Commissioners Joe Byrnes, Ryan Nero and Jessica Voogd voting in favor of the agreements. Commissioner Dan Novak was opposed.

At the May meeting, Novak questioned the inconsistency in agreements between bargaining units, the dollar amount of savings for the village through the concessions and the total legal cost of the negotiations. He voted to approve the extension of the raise freeze at the Aug. 24 meeting but offered no explanation about his change in stance.

The new side letter agreements put the 2.5 percent raises due to both unions on hold until Nov. 1. In exchange, the village agrees that no member of the bargaining unit will be laid off during the extension.

For AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), which includes village clerical staff, “the employer may assign employee job duties that are not included in the employee’s job description and maintain the employee’s normal rate of pay,” according to language in the agreement. This gives the village flexibility to move employees around where and when a need arises.

In May, the police department granted a six-month concession to the village in the form of a reduced wage increase; instead of the 2.75 percent raise promised in their contract, they agreed to a 1.75 percent raise instead, effective until Nov. 1, when the original raise would go into effect.

In May, Local 701, the mechanics union, which has one full-time employee, agreed to a six-month raise reduction, from 2.5 to 1.5 percent through Oct. 31.

Local 705, which represents the Public Works Department, does not currently have a contract.