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Pittsfield voters approve CBA in first SB2 vote



Monitor staff
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Voters in Pittsfield passed a collective bargaining agreement for a group of town employees in a special election Tuesday. It was their first municipal decision to be passed via ballot since adopting the SB2 format at Town Meeting in March.

The measure passed 414-155, approving wage increases for 11 town employees, including six members of the fire department, three administrators and two police sergeants. The estimated tax impact is 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of $17.50 for a $250,000 house.

The agreement, endorsed by the town’s select board and budget committee, will cost $18,659 this year, $33,559 in 2019 and $29,335 in 2020. The agreement was renegotiated after voters rejected an earlier version this year.

Voters will return to the ballot in March in place of holding a traditional town meeting. Under the old format that is still used by many towns in the state, voters gather in a hall and vote on measures with raised hands or, in some cases, a secret ballot. Under SB2, residents meet in a deliberative session ahead of the vote to discuss and possibly amend warrant articles. This is followed by a ballot vote in March. This was a special vote since the original deal did not get the green light from residents in March.

While it is a new way of conducting municipal business, it is not totally new to Pittsfield residents. The school district adopted the SB2 format last year.

(Nick Stoico can be reached at nstoico@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickStoico.)