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LOCKPORT – A five-year contract that will see all members begin to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums has been ratified by the Town of Lockport’s unit of the Civil Service Employees Association.

The deal also includes five years of pay increases totaling 12.5 percent, the same figure included in a previous contract agreement that union members rejected Aug. 2.

The Town Board is to vote today on the contract, which was approved Monday by the 18 members of Unit 7655, 13 of whom are full-time employees.

“It’s a good contract for both sides,” said Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith. He said he doesn’t expect any trouble winning Town Board approval for the pact.

The workers won’t begin to pay a share of health premiums until 2015, and then it will be only 2.5 percent. In 2016, the proportion rises to 5 percent.

“The town changed from their 10 percent stance,” said Rob Mootry, CSEA Local 832 labor relations specialist. “We didn’t get all we wanted, but that’s negotiations.”

The contract the sides thought they had reached in August included a 3 percent share of the health insurance costs for workers this year, 5 percent in 2013 and 10 percent each year after that.

Smith said the town felt it was important that union members feel the impact of the annual health insurance cost increases that the town has been grappling with for years.

The town’s newer employees already know that. Those hired since 2004 are already paying 15 percent of their health premiums. Smith said that proportion will not rise under the terms of the new deal.

From 2010 to 2012, the town’s insurance costs rose 28.4 percent, from $216,000 to $302,000.

Smith said the town anticipates some savings, but the figure won’t be known until the 2015 insurance bill arrives.

The pay increases are 3 percent this year, retroactive to Jan. 1; 3 percent in 2013; 2.5 percent in 2014; and 2 percent a year in 2015 and 2016.

Workers with more than 25 years of experience will receive a fifth week of vacation time, a provision that Smith said matches one in the town’s other union contract, with the Teamsters union.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com