SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 5, 2014

Council skeptical of police raises

(Continued)

Finance Director Bryant Ayles said the 2 percent stipend will cost the city $77,000 in fiscal year 2014. The stipend will be included in future contracts unless it is negotiated out, he said.

“It’s unfortunate we took that approach,” Silva said. “I wholeheartedly support having a community impact unit. I think it’s a real important and effective way to encourage community policing. But this is a very expensive way to accomplish that goal when I would say there’s a much more affordable way to do it.”

LeLacheur, who was hired in November, told councilors he was not involved in the negotiations, but he supports the contract.

“It gives me flexibility to move people,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to get back into the community and get out into the neighborhoods.”

The contract also has a new provision that rewards officers who do not use a sick day for any three-month period with a “healthy day.” Officers can take the “healthy day” off with pay as long as it does not create overtime. Unused healthy days can be credited to an officer’s sick-leave buyback bank.

As part of the contract, the city will pay incentives for officers who earn college degrees. The program replaces the Quinn Bill, an educational incentive program that has been underfunded by the state.

The Beverly Education Incentive Program, as it is called, will be funded by a reduction in officers’ sick time accumulation from 20 days to 15 days; by the consolidation of two officers into one position; and by reducing from four to three the number of officers on the same shift authorized to take a day off.

The Beverly Superior Officers’ Benevolent Association, the union representing superior officers, has also been without a new contract for nearly three years. Cahill said the two sides are looking to schedule a mediation session.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

 

 

 

Police patrolmen contract highlights

  • 1.5 percent raises in 2012 and 2013
  • 1 percent raise in 2014
  • 2 percent stipend for community impact officers
  • “Healthy day” awarded to officers who do not use a sick day in any three-month period
  • Pay incentives for officers earning college degrees

 

 

 

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