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Port Orchard City Council approves 3-year agreements with police union

Wage increases for Port Orchard police officers and sergeants was part of a 3-year contract agreement approved by the City Council on April 9.

The two collective bargaining agreements with the Port Orchard Police Guild gives officers and sergeants a 2.5-percent wage increase this year and a 3-percent raise in 2014.

City Attorney Greg Jacoby said both are  each three-year agreements and covers wages and health care coverage.

Pending approval, Jacoby stated that the officers’ agreement started on New Year’s Day and will end Dec. 31, 2015.

Both agreements were ratified by the Police Guild’s bargaining unit before coming to the Council for approval.

“They were a tough, but fair negotiators” Jacoby said. “Disagreements were discussed respectfully and the spirit of compromise prevailed.”

Councilman John Clauson, a member of the City’s negotiation team, echoed Jacoby’s sentiments about the negotiations.

“They came to the table with an open mind and recognized the current financial status of the City and funding,” he said. “We also recognized the comparable of our state and with this agreement, they will be maintaining their position within their various ranks. They’re are not going to necessarily move ahead, but maintain their position.”

In addition to the wage increases this year and next, officers could receive a 0 to 5 percent in 2015 increase based on the Consumer Price Index for the area.

Jacoby said the wage increase scale for sergeants is the similar to the officers’ agreement, including a one-half percent market adjustment for 2013 and 2014. In 2015, sergeants would also receive a 0 to 5 percent increase, but based on the COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment).

“The negotiating team looked at comparable cities and reach the conclusion a slight market adjustment was necessary,” Jacoby said. “This will bring the sergeants up to level comparable to other cities with similar police forces and budgets.”

The wage increases for this year were adopted in the 2013 budget, said Jacoby.

He said officers and sergeants will continue to pay a fixed percentage of the monthly health care premium.

Under a zero deductible health insurance plan with the Association of Washington Cities and Regence HealthFirst, police officers and sergeants would play between 5.92 to 9.41 percent of the cost — depending on spouse and number of dependents.

Under the Group Health Plan, the range is from 4.60 to 8.65 percent, also based on spouse and number of dependents.

Joining Clauson on the negotiation team were Police Chief Alan Townsend, Assistant City Attorney Dave Luxenberg, Human Resource Director Deb Howard and City Treasure Allan Martin.

 

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