Each union has different considerations and strategies to achieve their desired outcome, as does the Town. During negotiations, there were perhaps other items, monetary or non-monetary, that one union prioritizes over another. To understand that, one would need to talk to the unions directly. At times unions negotiate for absolute dollar increases instead of percentage increases as that tends to help the less senior staff cope with increasing cost of living. Similarly, the Town took this approach in the actions it took in the 2022-2023 Classification and Compensation Study presented to the Select Board on May 10th, 2023. In that case, the Town upwardly adjusted non-union employees who were paid toward the lower end of a pay band to direct help where most needed. Other examples where a union makes choices might include prioritizing education stipends over wage increases because they believe it will result in improved departmental results or prioritizing a scheduling change or shift differential over a broad-based wage adjustment. There are many, many trade-offs made in arriving at a settlement agreeable to all parties.