SANFORD — The city has inked a new, three-year labor agreement with Sanford Regional Communications dispatchers that will see raises and an increase in staffing levels over time.

The 24/7 communications center provides emergency dispatch to Sanford, York County Sheriff’s Office and a number of other entities.

Staff this fiscal year will see a two percent wage increase, retroactive to July 1; there will be 3 percent increases in each of the ensuing years of the contract.

City officials said the increase in pay is an effort to keep dispatchers’ pay levels competitive with other communities.

The department currently has 18 full- time positions. That will ramp up to 19 in the next fiscal year, and to 20 the following year. The increase is subject to available revenue and approval of the city budget.

The city is already looking to hire and train for 19 people in this  fiscal year so staffing will be at 19 for the second year of the labor agreement, according to a memo to the council from City Manager Steve Buck.

As well, workers will receive an increase of $5 per month, to $30, as a stipend for use of their personal cell phones for scheduling and emergency call-backs.

As well, workers who do not join the  current retirement plan will receive a $1,500 contribution toward a retirement fund. 

There were a number of language changes.

The city council  unanimously approved the contract.

Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy said the dispatchers bargaining unit has “ a clear vision of a quality operation.”

“They were excellent to work with,” she said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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