Grosse Pointe ShoresJuly 11, 2012
Command officers agreement to be model for other Shores union contracts
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — After several years of talks that eventually went into arbitration, the city finally has a new contract with its public safety command officers that is expected to be used as the model for contracts with the officers and other bargaining units.
Interim City Manager Mark Wollenweber said the proposed contract, awarded by the arbitrator, would save the Shores almost $36,000 annually and address some long-term legacy and other costs. Mayor Ted Kedzierski said the contract, which expires June 30, 2013, has been the subject of negotiations for the last two years.
Under terms of the agreement — approved unanimously by the City Council June 19 — the city will contribute 12.5 percent to the pension fund for new hires, compared to 25.03 percent for current officers. Kedzierski said the contract freezes the defined benefit pension and creates a health care savings account for new hires, along with making changes to the base pay rate and sick leave.
If the Shores hires a second new officer this year, to replace the retiring Lt. David Younk, they’re looking at saving more than $52,000 in salary and pension contributions in the first year over officers covered by the former contract, according to tabulations prepared by city officials.
“That’s really significant,” Kedzierski said.
Public Safety Director John Schulte said the contract replaces retiree health care with the health care savings account, and puts the Shores in line with contracts signed in other Pointes.
“This is going to be the foundation for future collective bargaining agreements in the city,” Kedzierski said.
With approval from the council, Schulte said, they’d be going back to the command officers to add contract language regarding promotions.
There are about seven officers in the command union and another 10 in the public safety officer union, Schulte said.
He said they hope to have a new contract with the officers ready for council approval at the next council meeting July 17.
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