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Millinocket OKs Pay Raises for Some Workers

July 26, 2008

By Nick Sambides Jr., Bangor Daily News, Maine

Jul. 26–MILLINOCKET, Maine — Police and Public Works Department workers will get a 3 percent pay raise backdated to July 1 under contracts the Town Council approved Thursday.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the new three-year deals, which expire July 1, 2011, for both unions. The council approved the contracts with minimal discussion, and councilors endured a slightly embarrassing moment when resident John Dicentes asked for contract details and councilors had none handy.

Town Council Chairman Wallace Paul advised Dicentes to see Town Manager Eugene Conlogue for the details.

Conlogue described the contracts after the meeting as only slightly different from previous contracts. They do, however, include elimination of and raises to some of the lowest pay grades, which Conlogue said affect only new hires and help make Millinocket competitive.

“They are pretty stand-pat contracts overall,” Conlogue said Thursday.

Under the police contract, new hires who have completed training at the state’s municipal police academy once paid $14 an hour now will get $15.80 an hour, Conlogue said.

Officers will get an hourly wage increase from $17.78 to $19.06 over the contract’s three years, he said. Sergeants will get similar 3 percent raises while Police Chief Donald Bolduc is not part of the union.

Police have had something of a revolving door, with turnover frequent enough that the department is seldom at full strength. The raises might help that.

Under the public works union contract, the two lowest pay grades have been eliminated, so starting workers who were paid $11.50 an hour will earn $13 by July 1, 2011, Conlogue said. The rest get 3 percent raises.

The 3 percent raises were intended largely to help workers’ wages keep pace with inflation.

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