FitzPatrick Workers Ratify New Contract

Workers at the FitzPatrick nuclear plant have ratified a new contract and avoided a strike similar to the recent walkout at the Nine Mile Point nuclear plants next door.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 97 head Ted Skerpon said that the vote Tuesday and Wednesday was 176 in favor of the new contract and 30 against.

The contract is a 4 year deal that raises pay 2% each year.

Skerpon said that the union was able to negotiate away substantial changes in medical benefits.  He said there is a small change in benefits, but benefits for retirees was preserved.

The deal takes effect immediately.

It came just days after the last contract was extended a week to allow for more negotiations.  Hours later, the two sides announced a tentative deal.

The same union struck the Nine Mile nuclear plants earlier this year when talks during a contract extension failed to produce a new agreement.  Managers handled the work of union members, including the job of operating the nuclear reactor, until a new deal was agreed upon and ratified.