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BOC Motion to Postpone Item #5 on the Call

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FROM: Lucia D. Jansen, Chairman, Budget Overview Committee (BOC)
DATE: October 13, 2016
RE: BOC Motion to Postpone Item #5 on the Call

BOC Motion to Postpone Item #5 as it appears on the October 24, 2016 Call

Item #5 entails the Greenwich Municipal Employees Association (GMEA) collective bargaining agreement contract, which is a 3 year, $112 million contract that covers over 244 Town of Greenwich employees.

The BOC considered a motion to postpone item #5 to the next RTM meeting and to immediately communicate the vote to the entire RTM so members would have the opportunity to consider the BOC’s motion at their respective committee and district meetings. The motion to postpone was made chiefly because BOC members felt that there was insufficient information and analysis with the proposed contract to make an informed vote. Additionally, Committee members voiced a concern that the RTM Labor Contracts Committee (LCC) will not have met prior to the RTM Committee and District meetings thus depriving RTM members an opportunity to review and discuss the LCC analysis, recommendations, and vote of the LCC prior to the main RTM meeting.

The motion passed 11-0-0 with District 10 absent.

BOC Explanatory Comments

BOC members fully understand the importance labor contracts have on the Town’s operating budget. It is well understood that labor costs comprise 60-70% of the Town operating budget and 70-80% of the BOE budget. As pointed out by the BET, labor contracts are the most important part of the Town and BOE budget and the RTM plays an important role in reviewing and accepting or rejecting them.

BOC members unanimously felt that they could not support reviewing and voting on the contract without the benefit of a complete analysis, including information such as historical cost of contract trend, benchmarking with other similar town bargaining units, or an analysis of the contract terms themselves, (including the substantial change from a local High Deductible Town health care plan to a PPO state health care plan).

The BOC further does not believe that RTM members will benefit from receiving detail facts of the LCC’s analysis (pro or con) on the night of the RTM General Meeting, just minutes, prior to the RTM vote, as members would not have an opportunity to ask questions of the principal proponents of the motion, nor would they be able to analyze the pros and cons of accepting or rejecting the contract terms. Finally, this town labor contract has no legal statute mandating this month's timeframe as necessary for acceptance.

Without having a detailed review and analysis available to committees and districts prior to the RTM general meeting, the BOC unanimously voted to postpone the item to the following RTM meeting.

The BOC urges RTM members to vote in favor of accepting the BOC motion to postpone item #5 until the next RTM meeting.