‘Longevity pay’ sours new deal

A new deal between the police union and the city of Dunkirk features a little bit of give and take by both sides.

Sticking with the template started by the firefighters union in 2011, the contract includes three years of zero percent pay increases for officers with the fourth year offering a 3 percent hike. It also includes a bit more money workers will have to contribute as part of their health insurance.

That is the good news.

The questionable portion includes the added $1,050 for longevity pay starting in 2013 and lasting through 2015 as well as the $900 in insurance flexible spending. These are deals you will not find in our private-sector, but seen as necessary to get contract agreements in the public sector.

Overall, it is one of the fairer deals you will see when looking at the big picture of public contracts in Chautauqua County. It still, however, is far from perfect for the taxpayer.