2016-11-30 / Front Page

Sanford council approves police contract

Senior Staff Writer

SANFORD — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a new, three-year labor agreement with Sanford Patrol Association that will see the men and women in blue receive cost of living raises and a separate, smaller increase in two of the three years to keep officers pay in line with other communities.

As well, there are changes in pension plans and in language regarding how workers are to use their sick and vacation time.

City Manager Steve Buck on Tuesday said the changes in pension plans will pay for the cost of living increases in the first year and the market adjustment in years two and three. He said in all, the city came within $8,700 of what had been budgeted in the new contract.

The Sanford Police Association is poised to vote on the contract sometime next week.

If police vote in the affirmative, it will be the third labor contract approved in the city this year — both Sanford Fire Department and the union that represents dispatchers at Sanford Regional Communications have recently approved contracts with the city.

The new police contract calls for a 2.5 percent pay increase retroactive to July 1; with a 31 percent further increase on Jan. 1. On July 1, 2017, workers will receive a 2 percent cost of living adjustment and a separate, 1 percent market adjustment, and the same again in 2018.

As well, one criminal investigation division officer will receive a $100 per week stipend for being on call 88 hours per week to cover when other CID officers are off duty.

According to a memo to the council from Buck, medical insurance remains the same, with the 80 percent employer/20 percent employee contributions on premiums. The amount officers who choose to obtain medical insurance elsewhere will receive from the city has been capped at $6,000 annually, a change from the 30 percent contribution now in effect.

According to the memo, the union requested a change in pension plans, a 2.8 percent savings for the city. Those hired before Jan. 1, 2014, have a one-time opportunity to make the change. All those hired after that date will be required to make the change.

Buck said negotiations on the contract began in January. The current contract expired June 30.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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