The Town Council unanimously approved last week a three-year contract with more than 30 Town Hall employees who belong to the newest municipal union.

The group of employees voted to join a union through Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, last December. Negotiations began in July and, according to both parties, went by without any issues.

The bargaining agreement will cost the town an approximate $53,000 over the next three years, Human Resources Director Cheryl Jones told the Town Council Dec. 19. Without the agreement, she said, the increase could actually be close to $150,000, largely because pension contributions by the workers would be lower.

The hourly wages for those employees will increase 1.5 percent in the 2014-15 fiscal year, retroactively; 1.5 percent in 2015-16 and another 2 percent in 2016-17, according to Floyd Dugas, an attorney who represents the town.

"I think those numbers compare favorably to what has been negotiated both here in town and around the state over the same period of time," he said. "Overall, I think it's a good deal."

Union president Janet Donohue said the deal was fair to both parties.

"We are very pleased. I think it's a good thing for the employees and a good for the town," Donohue, who works as assistant town clerk and assistant registrar of vital statistics, said.

"The negotiations process was very smooth and cordial," she added.

The approximately 34 Town Hall employees in the bargaining unit are from five town buildings and have 24 different job titles, including accountants, assistant assessors, administrative assistants, office managers, program directors and parking enforcement officers.

The contract is effective retroactively from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2017.

As with other New Canaan labor agreements, the contract states that all new hires who are smokers or use any other tobacco products "and those who are morbidly obese" will have to contribute an additional 2 percent toward the cost of insurance.

The number of sick days was reduced from 15 to 13, but the employees were granted one additional personal day and a floating holiday., 203-330-6582, @olivnelson