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Firefighters' Contract Approved

The contract is for three years.

Selectmen unanimously approved a three-year contract with Monday night.

Similar to the the firefighters contract gives firefighters a 2.5 percent pay raise for this year (which ends next summer) and a 1.75 percent raise for each of the next two years.

"I've always that said if my son falls out of a tree, or my mother has a heart attack, or there's a fire, I want a North Andover firefighter there," Selectman Tracy Watson said. "They're worth their weight in gold."

Coincidentally, Watson need firefighters that day. There was a fire at a Woodridge apartment, of which Watson is a manager. The fire was contained and extinguished and no injuries were reported.

Bob Ercolini September 12, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Both contracts have to be approved for funding by Town Meeting by a majority before they are effective. While the raises may seem reasonable, the town's financial statement show that over 5 million in ANNUAL funding owed in employees benefits is not being funded. Currently, North Andover owes at least 200 million dollars for current and retired employee pension and healthcare benefits already incurred or approxiamtely three years of property taxes for every homeowner. How can our elected leaders justify paying new raises, let alone related increases in pensions, with money that is needed to meet current obligations to these same employees. Simple, they can't say no and want to continue to kick the can down the road. Not exactly a profile in courage. Eventually the town will have to decide if it is going to raise taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars, to pay these employees, or go bankrupt and let these employees deals with the consequence. However, that will be another politican's problem and the town's employees and then present residents will have forgotten about the leaders who brought their town to this financial ruin. If I were an employee of the Town, I would want to make sure current promises are honored to all before future promises, that can't be met beyond a few more years, are made.
MikeA September 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Bob - I've heard people mention the retiree healthcare benefits. But not anything about pensions - giving me the impression that the pensions are paid by the state. Can you explain (or point to documents) that explain what the town offers employees for retiree benefits (and at what age they kick in)? It sounds like you are also saying that the town doesn't fund these "liabilities" but pays as it goes. That is, there's no trust fund. Correct?

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