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Published: Wednesday, 7/1/2009

Toledo police OK contract with city

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo police patrolmen approved by a slim margin Wednesday a contract that would pay 7 percent of their own pension contributions for six months and have no pay increases for two years.

After months of calling for wage cuts to help eliminate a $12.5 million budget deficit, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner agreed to a pay hike for police in the third year of the agreement.

Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, said officers understand the contract is concessionary and added many voted against the agreement crafted by city and police union officials after months of public wrangling.

Mr. Wagner would not release the specific vote result, saying only that "the measure passed by a slim margin."

The third year of the proposed three-year labor agreement calls for a 3.5 percent pay increase for patrol officers. It also defers all overtime payments for the remainder of this year until March 1, 2010, but police officers may choose to take compensatory time instead of banking their overtime.

Patrolmen will have to pay health care monthly premiums of $25 for single, $40 for single plus one person, and $55 for a family.

Mr. Finkbeiner had sought a 10 percent pay cut from the police union, for officers to pay the employees' 10 percent share of the cost of their public pension, and for officers to begin paying part of their medical insurance costs.

Both sides met several times with a fact-finder to try to resolve the dispute.

Now the tentative contract goes to City Council, which will meet in special session Thursday to vote on the agreement.

Also under the agreement, patrolmen will get a 2 percent lump sum bonus in April, 2010 if the 2009 audited books exceed $148 million; 4.5 percent if the collections exceed $150 million; 7 percent if collections exceed $152.5 million, and 9 percent if collections exceed $155 million.

The proposed contract also states:

• New hires will pay the entire share of their own pension contributions.

• The union gets a "me too" clause with the fire fighter's union and Toledo Police Command Officer Association.

• The city will increase wellness benefits from $150 to $300 for singles and $300 to $600 for a family.

• Early Sick time payout for officers with 25 years of service.

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• TPPA will get a 30 day notice before layoffs.

• The union will give up $500 police services allowance stipend for 2009 only in return for the lump sum bonus plan in 2010.

• There will be no tuition reimbursement through the rest of 2009.

• The city will create a 12 to 8 p.m. shift with specifications of how many will be on the shift.

• There will be a determination of how many representatives will be placed on the TPPA board and union business day release time.

• There will be drug testing requirements.

• There will be permanent shift times and stations by seniority.

• The city and union will commence a pilot program for a 10-hour shift in 2010.

• Equalization of overtime.

• Patrolmen must have proof of illness for more than five consecutive workdays.



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