TICONDEROGA - Union workers will likely not see pay increases in Ticonderoga in 2011.
Employees in the water and sewer department have agreed to a one-year contract with no pay raise.
Talks are ongoing with the town highway and police employees, although Supervisor Deb Malaney expects both to agree to a one-year pay freeze in exchange for a promise of no layoffs.
"We're trying to keep everyone working," Malaney said. "It doesn't do a community any good to lose employees and jobs. We don't need the impact of any more unemployed workers."
Malaney praised the work ethic of town employees, but said the national recession has hit the town hard. It's a never-ending struggle to control taxes and costs, she said.
"We're very fortunate to get 0 percent," Malaney said. "That's a gift that keeps giving since wages are calculated annually. It's a tremendous savings to the community."
The water and sewer contract has been finalized. It calls for no pay increase, but employees will each receive a one-time payment to help offset increased worker contributions to the health insurance plan. The health insurance stipends vary, Malaney explained, but average $500 for each of the water and sewer department's eight employees.
The town will also save money since there is a retirement in the water and sewer department. That position will not be filled.
Highway department workers have reached a tentative agreement with the town on a one-year contract that calls for no pay increase. The proposed pact includes a one-time payment for health insurance costs, similar to the deal with the water and sewer department, Malaney said.
Taxpayers will also save money because of three retirements in the highway department. Those positions will not be filled, although two of the retirees have agreed to work part-time, as needed, to assist during snowstorms.
"We're fortunate they've agreed to help us part-time," Malaney said of the retirees. "They have great experience and they save us from hiring full-time employees."
Talks continue with the police department, Malaney said, although the union realizes the town's position on pay increases.
"We haven't finalized a deal, but I expect 0 percent (raises)," Malaney said. "I'm optimistic. The police want to work with the town."