City, police reach tentative contract deal

One down, two to go – hopefully.

The city of Dunkirk and the union representing its police officers have reached a tentative agreement covering a four-year period from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2015. Mayor Anthony J. Dolce has called a special meeting of the Common Council that will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall so council can vote on the contract with The City of Dunkirk Police Benevolent Association.

The four-year agreement the PBA is currently working under was agreed to by the city and union in February 2008 and covered the period from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2011. That contract called for a 3 percent increase in each of the four years, a total increase of some 13.4 percent over the four years. In 2012 when the union was working under terms carried over, there was no percentage raise in the contract’s base pay scale, according to city officials.

That will remain the case for 2012 under terms of the proposed deal. According to the memorandum of agreement between the city and union, current officers will receive no wage increase for 2012, 2013 or 2014. A 3 percent increase is scheduled for 2015.

Longevity increments of $1,050 are scheduled for officers with more than two years service for each of the last three years of the proposed deal. Each of the last three years will provide each officer with an additional $900 in insurance flexible spending, which they must designate in writing how it will be used.

Current PBA members will be picking up some of the cost of their health insurance if the contract meets council approval. In 2013, members will pay 5 percent of the premium costs paid by the city; 7.5 percent in 2014 and 10 percent in 2015. New hires start and remain at the 10 percent payment.

At the time of the current PBA deal, the city negotiated with all four unions as all their contracts came due. The PBA and the AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 912 each reached four-year deals. The Dunkirk Professional Firefighters’ Association, Inc. Local 616 and the city’s management union, United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union Local Union 2693 COD AFL-CIO, each reached three-year deals, which ran from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2010.

Local 616 and the city reached agreement on a new contract in September 2011 which included a 3 percent raise for 2011 and no pay raises for the next two years. In addition, the contract included union members paying 10 percent in health insurance premiums in 2012 and a reduction in staffing from 26 to 24.

The city is still negotiating with Local 2693 and Local 912 on new contracts.