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Cops seek pay boost in new contract

October 03, 2000

Cops seek pay boost in new contract



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Negotiators for the Hagerstown police officers union and the city have agreed to a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise, but have failed to reach accord on union requests for increases to the police salary scale, more pay for night shifts and for working on some scheduled days off, Police Officer and union President Wayne Hose said Tuesday.

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It was unclear when the differences might be resolved. The union's contract expired June 30, but under the terms of that agreement, it remains in effect until a new contract is agreed upon.

City Human Resources Director Don Francis, who is one of the city management negotiators, said talks with the union are in a "cooling off period."

"Money is the only thing left on the table," Francis said. He declined to comment further on the negotiations.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman, and the city's elected officials declined to comment on the negotiations.

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Hose characterized the negotiations as "stalled."

Hose said the union wants officers on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift to receive an extra 30 cents an hour, and those working the midnight to 8 a.m. shift to get an additional 35 cents an hour.

The union is asking that officers be paid "double time" when called in to work on the second day of their scheduled two days off per week, which is known as the second rest day.

Police officers currently are paid time and a half for working on their second rest day.

The union also wants to boost the pay scale for recent hires, who were put on a lesser pay scale under the terms of the last contract.

Hose said increasing the pay scale would essentially give about 15 officers a raise of about $2,000 a year. It also would increase the starting salary for officers from about $25,300 to roughly $27,000, he said.

Hose said that without the increase to base pay the city will have trouble hiring new officers. He said it isn't a problem now, but predicted it would be in the future.

The 2.5 percent cost-of-living pay increase for officers has been agreed to by both sides, Hose said.

A new contract would have to be approved by the City Council.

Hose said 70 city police officers are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3373.

In an attempt to rally support, the police union bought a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of The Herald-Mail. Union members plan to go to different city neighborhoods in the next few weeks to distribute brochures outlining their concerns, Hose said.

The newspaper ad included a chart comparing starting and top-level base salaries of city officers to those in other areas. It also asked residents to contact city elected officials and the city administrator to voice support for the police officers.

Zimmerman said Tuesday that he has received one anonymous voice-mail message on the subject. The caller said the police should get a wage increase, Zimmerman said.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and all five council members said Tuesday they have received no feedback from the public as a result of Sunday's ad.

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