City of Lowell reaches agreement with Patrolman’s Union

Here’s a press release from the office of City Manager Bernie Lynch reporting that a contract agreement has been reached between the city and the Lowell Police Patrolman’s Union.

Lowell Patrolman’s Union and City Reach Contract Agreement

Lowell, MA- The City of Lowell and its Lowell Patrolman’s Union, Local 10 achieved a resolution on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 when the City Council approved funding of an agreement reached by the City Administration and the Union. The agreement which represents mutual compromise, addresses wage increases, medical benefits, fitness incentives as well as organizational details that promise to aid both parties in future discussions.

A key compromise in the agreement is the implementation of a pay increase to become effective July 1, 2010 as opposed to a July 1, 2007 retroactive pay increase. As with other Union contracts settled after the 2008 cuts to local aid, there will not be a retroactive payment for the past contract period (July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2010). Instead the Patrolman will receive an award of 8% costing the City an additional $715,000 outside of the police budget for FY11. The increase reflects consideration of the percentages awarded to the City’s other unions that settled contracts both before and after local aid cuts and the amount awarded to the Police Superior’s Union.

The Patrolman agreed to offer membership a PPO health care option that greatly benefits the Patrolman as well as the City and eliminate the costly Master Medical option for new employees. The PPO option is currently available to all other City employees. The Patrolman also agreed to language regarding the institution of bi-weekly payroll, a February 2011 implementation of direct deposit and future coalition bargaining over plan design issues.

Additionally, the City agreed to the Patrolman’s Union proposal to increase the Legal Defense fund and establish a Physical Fitness Incentive Program, both of which mirror the awards granted to the City’s Police Superiors Union.

City Manager Bernie Lynch noted, “I am pleased that the matter is resolved with the Patrolman’s Union so we can refocus our energy to better serve the City of Lowell and its residents.” Lynch continued, “The Patrolman who advocated for their contract and the City staff who worked to put together the best options possible for both Lowell and Union are all dedicated City employees; we continue to work together to bring the best results to Lowell in these economically challenging times.’’