New contract for patrol police officers in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 2, 2018

File photo

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Six months after their contract expired, St. Clair Shores police patrol officers have a new contract, with 2 percent wage increases for the next three years. 

“Bargaining took a little longer than I would have liked it to take,” said City Manager Mike Smith at the Dec. 18 City Council meeting. “The three-year agreement ... is a mirror image of the other agreements that we have with the firefighters and other employee groups.”

According to the agreement, wages will retroactively rise 2 percent effective July 1, 2017. They will increase another 2 percent July 1, 2018, and an additional 2 percent July 1, 2019. The increased cost to the general fund is $97,741 in 2017, an additional $99,696 in 2018 and an additional $100,690 in 2019.

In addition, officers now have more time to study for promotional exams: 90 days instead of 60. And officers can now have flexibility for funeral leave time. Previously, the leave would begin right after the person’s death; now, written approval of the police chief could delay that for a family that is delaying a funeral. 

City Council unanimously approved the patrol officers contract, which runs through June 30, 2020. 

City Council also considered a contract for police command officers in closed session Dec. 18, but no vote was taken. Police Chief Todd Woodcox said he expects City Council to vote on the contract in January.

In addition to similar wage increases, the contract for command officers would also make changes to the pension multiplier, which would be 2.25 percent for the first 25 years of service for anyone hired after Aug. 17, 2015, according to the packet of materials supplied to City Council for its Dec. 18 meeting. The multiplier is 2.80 percent for those hired before April 22, 2011. The pension multiplier would then be 1 percent for years 26-30 of service, as opposed to those hired before Aug. 17, 2015, who would have a 1 percent pension multiplier for any years over 25.

The final average compensation for members hired after that date would also only include base wages, with the expected contribution rate from the city expected to “trend down by approximately 0.37 percent over the affected group’s payroll” as current members leave the system and are replaced, according to the packet.

A deferred retirement option plan, or DROP, is also proposed in the contract.