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Town of Tonawanda union workers approve contract

The Hourly Employees Association of the Town of Tonawanda, the town's largest union with nearly 200 members, has voted 112 to 69 to ratify a contract after six years without a contract.

The contract, approved last week by hourly workers in the town's highway, parks water and sewer departments, will include raises each year through 2024. Retirees will have free health care, but all current employees will have to pay a portion of their health care premium.

Union President Paul Catalano called the settlement "tough" with three tiers of employees, including longtime employees who previously had free health care.

"Those who didn't pay anything aren't making out as well as the younger guys," said Catalano.

The settlement did not include retroactive pay. Employees will receive a raise of 5 percent for 2018 and another 5 percent in 2019. Then raises will continue annually at 3 percent through 2024.

Tonawanda close to deal with hourly employees union

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