Coventry highway department joins Teamsters

COVENTRY – Coventry’s town highway employees will see a wage increase, better benefits and additional vacation and sick time as a result of a new three-year contract, which was ratified by the town board on Tuesday night.

The contact, which will take effect on Jan. 1, is the first negotiated by Teamsters Local 693 on behalf of the highway crew. In November, Coventry’s department became the tenth Chenango County highway department to organize through the Binghamton-based branch of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

“All in all, we felt ... it was a well negotiated contract,” said Town Supervisor Janice O’Shea, who added that she felt the agreement provided protections for both the employees and the town itself.

“It works both ways,” she explained.

The town was first contacted by the union prior to their November board meeting, when the Teamsters sent a request to be recognized as the highway employee’s sole bargaining agent. At that point, the supervisor reported that the employees had already joined the union and the communication was standard practice in accordance with New York State’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) regulations.

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