Mayor responds to news article about wages

To the Editor:

I have received several calls today about an article that appeared in the New Haven Register with the headline “Non-Union pay hikes in Milford criticized.”

It is important that citizens know that the Board of Aldermen is not budgeting 10%, 8% or 6% pay increases to ANY city worker - union or non-union.

After reading the article twice, I am unsure what the Register article was really about; the City's U-2 Ordinances?   The timing of when and how we print our budget books?  How a union spokesman from outside of Milford feels about the way we compensate non-union employees?  What I am sure about is that the article left many readers believing, incorrectly, that the Aldermen were granting significant pay increases. I'm here to correct that impression.

Here are the facts:

1. Wage increases for city employees, both union and non-union, for this year and next year will not exceed 2%.

2. Several positions, including Mayor and City Clerk, received a 0% increase for the past 5 years.

3. For the first time, City employees, both union and non-union, who had never previously contributed toward their health insurance, will now be required to fund a premium cost share and as such, many City workers will actually receive a decrease in their take-home pay.

Mayor Ben Blake