City Commission approves new contracts with police unions
Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 4:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 4:05 p.m.
After years of negotiations, the Gainesville City Commission has approved new contracts with the city’s two police unions.
Before Thursday’s vote, the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the majority of the department's officers, had worked under the terms of an expired contract since 2010.
The Police Benevolent Association, which represents lieutenants, had operated under an expired contract since 2011.
In the case of the FOP, the contract just approved expires in September.
“We’ve been in negotiations over this contract for three years, so now that it’s ratified it’s about to expire,” FOP President Jeff McAdams said.
McAdams said the union would work under the terms of this contract while negotiations were ongoing on the next agreement.
In the recently approved contracts, each union retroactively received salary increases of approximately 2 percent for the fiscal year 2012 and the current 2013 fiscal year -- mirroring what the City Commission budgeted for pay increases in those years. Each contract also includes pension concessions that already have been ratified by the unions and approved by the commission.
For the FOP, changes in the contract include moving from 10-hour shifts to 11¼-hour shifts.
McAdams said the city sought that to have more officers on patrol at busy times. The FOP contract also no longer offers double time and a half pay for officers who work Christmas or Thanksgiving. They now will receive double time.
McAdams said his concern is that changes, including the reduction in pension benefits and the longer shifts, might jeopardize the department’s ability to “recruit and retain good quality officers.”
Lt. Will Halvosa, the Gainesville Police Department’s PBA representative, said the lieutenants might mull reopening the contract to include the 11¼-hour shifts so their schedules mirror those of the officers and sergeants they supervise