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Village approves new police contract

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MASSENA - The unionized members of the Massena Village Police Department will receive a salary increase of 7.5 percent over the next four years and begin making contributions to their health insurance under the terms of a four-year pact approved this month by the Massena Village Board of Trustees.

The contract is retroactive to June 1, 2012 and runs through May 31, 2016. Massena police officers will receive a 1 percent salary increase in 2012-2013, as well as a separate $1,000 stipend not factored into their base pay.

The salary increases will rise to 2.5 percent in 2013-2014 and 2 percent increase in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, amounting to a total 7.5 salary increase over four years. The contract specifies the stipend is a one-time bonus.

A starting patrolman on step 1 would be paid $15.12 per hour in 2012-2013 and $16.13 in 2015-2016. A sergeant in his first year in a supervisor post would be paid $30.03 per hour during the contract’s first year and $32.03 in its last.

Officers will also begin contributing $10 per week, or $520 annually, toward their health, vision and dental costs, effective June 1, 2013 until May 31, 2015. Officers will begin contributing $13 per week, or $672 annually, toward health costs in 2015-2016. Future retirees will continue contributing to their insurance at the level they paid when they left until they reach Medicare age. But those who are at least 55 when they retire or have worked at least 30 years for the village by their retirement won’t have to contribute, according to the contract.

The village currently pays $692 per month, or $8,304 annually, for health insurance, vision and dental for each single police officer, according to Village Treasurer Julie Sharlow. The village pays $1,367 a month, or $16,404 annually, for each officer on a family plan, including couples without children.

Ms. Sharlow said the previous contract did not include health care contributions.

Mayor James F. Hidy commended the contract for reducing health care costs for the village.

“That helps fray some of the costs to the village. I’m grateful to the police union for contributing to health care,” Mr. Hidy said.

Mr. Hidy said the new contract allows the village to have a hand in the scheduling process, which may help reduce overtime costs.

The contract also allows the department to create a lieutenant’s position, according to Mr. Hidy. Massena Police and the village board are in discussions on the possibility of creating that administrative position.

Representatives of the Massena Police Protective Association were unavailable for comment Friday,

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