The Township Committee has approved the contract for superior police officers and is in the process of doing so for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Local 238, eliminating longevity for new hires and adding two steps to the pay scale.
“I’m proud of this contract,” Mayor Mark Dykoff previously said. “I’m proud of the hard work this committee did over a long period of time to get this contract negotiated.”
The contract for the Superior Officers Association Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 202, which covers captain, lieutenant and sergeant, was approved with a second reading in October. The last contract concluded Dec. 31, 2010.
Negotiations for this contract were in the works for more than three years, Committeeman Gary Quinn said.
“It’s been a long, drawn-out process,” he said.
The 2011-14 contract for superior officers contains a non-retroactive raise of .25 percent for 2011 and a two percent raise each year thereafter through 2014.
The township negotiated the contract with Dykoff, township Administrator Veronica Laureigh and the labor counsel representatives from the FOP, Dykoff said, adding that he think had a mediator been used, the township may have had to adhere to more givebacks.
Below are the wages for superior officers moving forward:2011 2012 2013 2014 Sergeant $106,031 $108,151 $110,314 $112,520 Lieutenant $116,635 $118,968 $121,347 $123,774 Captain $128,298 $130,864 $133,481 $136,151
The new salaries for patrolmen will be posted once approved.
Longevity also was eliminated for new hires in both contracts. The contract for the superior officers states that all employees hired before Jan. 1, 2013, will be paid longevity increments.
In former years, in addition to employees' annual wage, they would receive longevity based on seniority. Upon entering the fifth increment of employment, the worker got 2 percent of base pay, 4 percent for the 10th increment, 6 percent for the 15th increment and 10 percent for the 23rd increment.
According to the township’s latest financial records, listed online, those with the highest figures in longevity in 2010 were Chief of Police William Nally at $13,282.20 and Sgt. Chester Jurkiewicz at $10,585.50.
“Moving forward, taxpayers can’t afford the longevity they get,” Quinn said. “Myself as well as the committee is very opposed to longevity in the contracts. We’re not taking it away from employees that are here now but we were successful in having it removed from this contract.”
2 Steps Added to PBA Contract
For the PBA contract, which has been introduced and awaits a final vote, two new increments were added to the pay scale. Currently, a new hire, without training, starts with a base salary in the $40,000 range, the same as some trained officers. Now there will be a first-year step and an academy step. The first step would be a reduced salary in the mid-$30,000 range, Quinn said.
“It’s saving taxpayers a considerable amount of money,” he said.
The settlement with the PBA also includes a non-retroactive 2 percent raise for 2011 and a 2 percent raise each year for 2012-14.
Other givebacks included in the contract were minor and administrative-based, Quinn said.
“People do deserve raises for doing good work but along the same lines, it has been brought up before, I think somewhere down the line the committee is going to have to sit down and decide to cap salaries for people in particular positions because salaries continue to rise and rise and rise,” said resident Barry Bendar, municipal chairman of the Democratic Committee. Quinn agreed.
“We know that we have to turn a corner,” Quinn said. “It’s a wide range. It varies from a 2 percent raise to a 10 percent raise. That 10 percent raise in your 25th year amounts to a very substantial amount of money. The township and the taxpayers cannot afford the salaries we’re paying now.”
James Tranz, president of the Superior Officers Association, did not immediately return calls for comment.
Keith Pearce, President of the PBA, declined to comment until the contract is approved.
The township is still in negotiations with the Communications Workers of America Local 1088.