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Contract Negotiation Time at BCWA.... Will B&E Recommendations be followed?

BCWA Union Contract being negotiated.

It's contract negotiation time at BCWA, and there are significant changes in the plant operations. They are currently processing little to no water at the plant. The B&E report that all three towns spent thousands of dollars for last year made specific recommendations on salary adjustments for plant employees:

"Overtime — When the contract is renegotiated next year the authority must gain significant concessions in the overtime language in order to control costs to protect ratepayers. Obtaining contract concessions in the area of overtime is only one step in correcting this very expensive department within the authority's operations."

"B&E compared the hourly pay rates in the contract with five other water utilities and found them higher when comparing like positions. BCWA must constrain pay increases for the next five years to put BCWA employee salaries in line with other water utilities in RI."

The official response of the BCWA management to these, and other suggestions, dated June 10, 2011, recommends freezing existing salaries at existing levels and reduce starting salaries through attrition so that the salaries are consistent with like positions in other water companies.

Recommendations were also made regarding health coverage co-pays, vacation, and other issues. This report can be viewed at: www.bristolri.us/document/council/BCWA%20Performance%20Audit%20June%202011.pdf

It will be interesting to see what the end result of these negotiations is, especially when there is no water being processed. Bear in mind, ratepayers may be facing a probable rate increase in the 20 percent range in the near future.

We all realize at this point that there is no use crying over spilled milk. Many mistakes have been made by BCWA management. They need to take steps to cut their expenses and move forward to streamline their organization. Keeping salaries in line with similar jobs at similar water companies would be a good start.

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Jack Baillargeron July 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM
“BCWA must constrain pay increases for the next five years to put BCWA employee salaries in line with other water utilities in RI." What a joke! Then they say freeze wages, another joke. Would that not take 5 years so the other entities can catch up to the BCWA, how the hell is that a plan? If you are getting treated water 100% or even 80% from providence, then why are the so many employees, it makes no sense. If you are producing a product at a much lower capacity, then the work force cannot be the same size. File for bankruptcy re-organization, like towns and cities are doing across the nation and a nice Judge will void this golden contract, and you can start from scratch. You cannot fix that which is broken over a 5 year period. That is nothing but kicking the proverbial can down the road and just plain BS. The gravy train at the BCWA must end. It is nothing more than an extended pumping station for the Providence treated Water. Nothing has changed, the status quo remains, because of fear to make the hard and realistic cuts that everyone knows must be done. You do not let the infection continue for 5 years, that’s insane. Where the hell is backbone in management? As usual, no where to be found.
BristolRI02809 July 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Seeing that you want to put all the workers at the water authority out of business and in the unemployment line Jack, why don't you set an example and refuse your RETIRED FIREMAN GOVERNMENT PENSION CHECK for the next 5 years? What an example you would be setting. Must be nice to sit at home all day on the computer and criticize the people that actually have a job, something you might consider getting.
Jack Baillargeron July 13, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Yet another cowardly irrelevent "internet troll Post" lol
Gary Morse July 13, 2012 at 05:53 PM
What management owes to employees is a fair review of where BCWA employees stack up in total compensation as compared to other water authority skill sets. A review should be objective and based on data that both sides agree is fair. If employees lag behind the industry, then employees should be treated fairly. If they are ahead of the industry, then rate payers should be treated fairly. In these hard economic times, an increase for the sake of an increase can't continue.
Jack Baillargeron July 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Well said Gary.

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