By Adam Swift
Winthrop Town Manager Tony Marino updated the Town Council on contract negotiations with the town’s municipal unions at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Chief among the news was the retroactive settling of the police union’s previous three-year contract, which ran through June of this year.
At its next meeting in October, the council is expected to vote on transferring $241,000 from salary reserve to the police department budget to pay for the retroactive contract settlement.
Tuesday night, the council also voted to approve transferring $195,000 from salary reserve to cover the retroactive costs of the recently settled firefighters union contract. That contract runs through 2024.
Marino said there are also tentative contract agreements in place with the town’s public works and clerical unions.
“They need to take those back to their groups to get ratification,” said Marino.
The Town Manager added that negotiations are also moving along with the library union and that that contract could be settled after another two or three meetings.
“Other than the police, we will be set for the next two years with fire and three years with everyone else,” said Marino.
Once the retroactive contract with the police union is paid out, Marino said work will begin to see if the town can get an agreement on a current contract with that union.
In other business, Marino updated the council on the impressive early voting totals in the town for the Sept. 6 state primary election.
“I’d like to thank (Town Clerk) Denise (Quist) and her staff for the state primary on Sept. 6,” said Marino.
During the primary, Marino said two polling locations changed, with every precinct but precinct 4 voting at the old middle school, and it worked out well.
“I think in last November’s town election, there were roughly 2,200 voters, and we had roughly 2,800 voters in the Sept. 6 primary,” said Marino. “Of those 2,800 voters, 1,750 of them voted early at Town Hall in person, and then we had 58 absentee ballots and 990 people who voted in person on Tuesday, Sept. That’s 66 percent of the voters who were early voters.”
Marino said those numbers make it viable for at least the next election in November to keep with the current polling locations.