SUMMIT, NJ - A four-year agreement between the City of  Summit and employees of the department of public works, represented by Local No. 469 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters received unanimous approval on Tuesday from the Summit Common Council.

According to Councilman Robert Rubino, representing the council finance committee in the absence of finance chairman Dave Bomgaars, the four-year agreement, running from Jan. 1 of this year until Dec. 31, 2016, provides for an average annual salary increase of 1.5 percent.

Rubino added that the salary guide increases the number of steps to reach the maximum step on the guide from seven to 14 and provides for a $250 incentive payment for those employees who do not use any sick days while providing no payment to those employees using more than two sick days per year.

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The councilman congratulated members of the city administration and the bargaining unit for reaching the agreement.

While Councilman Thomas Getzendanner said the agreement was basically sound, he added that the city administration should seek to redefine overtime for its employees to meet the state definition in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Public Works Chairman Gregory Drummond said the city was fortunate in having dedicated employees such as those in the public works department who perform so many tasks for Summit.

On another matter, Mayor Ellen Dickson proclaimed Friday, April 26, as Arbor Day in the city and presented a copy of the proclamation to Christina Amundson of the shade advisory committee. Among a number of activities scheduled for the day, according to Amundson, is the planting of a commemorative tree at Jefferson School.

Among its other official actions at Tuesday’s meeting the council also approved another one-year agreement with forester John Linson, trading as The Shade Tree Department LLC, at a maximum fee of $36,000.

Also approved was a community forestry management plan including a tree removal policy, tree planting policy, tree maintenance policy, nuisance tree policy, standards for the installation of holiday lighting in city trees and a section on Summit’s tree dedication policy along with a listing of landmark trees in the city.

The council also adopted an ordinance prohibiting right turns from Orchard Street to Briant Parkway and left turns from Springfield Avenue to Briant Parkway from 7 to 9 am and 4 to 6pm Monday through Friday.

Councilman Patrick Hurley, who chairs the public safety committee, said the ordinance was adopted at the request of residents in the area of Briant Parkway. He added Union County is doing a traffic study of the area of Morris Avenue and Orchard Street to determine if improvements will be needed at that intersection. 

Council President Richard Madden, a resident of Morris Avenue, has noted that traffic seeking to make a left from Morris Avenue to Orchard Street often backs up at the traffic signal at that intersection.

The council also delayed adoption of the 2013-2018 capital plan until its  meeting on Tuesday, April 16.

It also approved the reappointment of Municipal Judge Donald P. Bogosian.

Getzendanner asked that Judge Bogosian be requested to explore reinstating the former joint municipal court system that Summit previously had with New Providence and Berkeley Heights.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting the council congratulated Summit City Clerk David Hughes for serving 40 years with the city.