Quincy police patrolmen and the mayor’s office have agreed on a new, three-year contract that will offer incremental salary increases, reduce sick time for new employees, and change longevity payment for new hires.
According to mayoral spokesperson Christopher Walker, negotiations have been ongoing for the past few months. Because the patrolmen’s contract expired on July 1, the changes will take effect retroactively.
Overall, the contract will provide a salary raise of one percent for fiscal year 2013, two percent for fiscal year 2014, and two percent in fiscal year 2015. The contract also increases the annual uniform allowance to $150.
For new employees, the contract will mean bigger changes – a reduction in the number of allowed sick days from 18 to 15, and also the elimination of longevity pay until 20 years of service.
Current officers receive longevity payments after 5, 10, and 15 years of service, which will remain in effect.
For new hires only, the new contract will also reduce the city’s obligation for the education incentive provided under the “Quinn Bill”, which has also faced cuts in state funding in recent years.
Although the incentives will remain in place for current officers, new hires will be paid half as much for earning subsequent degrees, with a 5 salary percent increase for an associate’s degree, a 10 percent increase for a bachelor’s degree, and a 12.5 percent increase for a master’s degree.
Walker described the approach as “just a straight look at how to deal with things in the future.”
Union President and Quincy Police Officer Terry Downing could not be reached for comment. Mayor Thomas Koch praised the contract.
“This is a tremendous group of police officers that cares very deeply about the community it protects on a daily basis, and because of that commitment, we were once again able to come together, roll up our sleeves and agree on a contract that is fair to our officers and fair to our taxpayers,” Koch said in a release. “Our police have worked together with us every step of the way through an unprecedented series of challenges, and I am grateful for all of their efforts.”
According to Koch, the contract negotiations wouldn’t have been as smooth if it weren’t for changes to the health care plan in the last several years, which has saved the city millions of dollars and helped keep jobs.
The wage deferrals all patrolmen accepted for the past two years on their previous contract was also appreciated amongst the economic crisis, city officials said.
The police patrolmen union is the first union that has successfully completed negotiations in the city. Negotiations with all other city unions are in progress, Walker said.
Walker would not comment on if this contract would be a benchmark for what other unions can expect going forward.