Spring Lake Park council ratifies police officers contract

The Spring Lake Park Police patrol officers have a new contract.

The city council Sept. 4 unanimously approved the two-year contract that gives the seven patrol officers and the investigator a 2 percent pay increase for 2012 and 1 percent increase in 2013.

The 2012 pay increase will be retroactive to Jan. 1.

The contract had to be arbitrated and the arbitration ruling was favorable to the city because the pay increase is the same that other city employees have received, said City Administrator Barbara Nelson.

Officers will also receive an annual uniform allowance of $740. The union had requested $710 per officer per year, but city gave them $740, said Nelson.

They have fallen behind what other cities were giving their officers for uniform expenses, she said. The uniform allowance in the previous contract was $700.

The contract language also now allows some allowance carryover into the next year for the purchase of costly items, such as weapons, Nelson said.

The city had wanted the language removed because the external auditor, with whom the city contracts, was not happy that money was being carried over into the next fiscal year, Nelson said.

The city will also be contributing more toward the patrol officer’s health/hospitalization insurance and dental insurance.

Retroactively, the city will contribute $1,157.40 per month as of Sept. 1, 2011. Under the previous contract, the city contributed $990.52 per month.

Any increase or decrease to the health plan premium in 2012 and 2013 will split equally between the city and the patrol officers.

There were also modification to the education and grievance procedures.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]