Negotiators for the city and Lawrence Police Officers Assn. bridged their differences this morning and settled on a proposal for a one-year contract.
The city accepted the LPOA's proposal for a one-year pact with a 3 percent wage increase and the adoption of a body armor replacement policy, according to a press release from Rod Bremby, assistant city manager and spokesman for the city's negotiating team.
The decision comes after months of negotiations, which led to impasse and mediated talks. The matter was headed for a public hearing before the Lawrence City Commission after the two sides failed to reach agreement on a contract.
The hearing is no longer needed, according to the release. Commissioners would have considered contract packages from the two groups at a public hearing Tuesday and decided which one to implement.
Negotiators for the city and LPOA were not available for comment on the agreement this morning.
As negotiations wore on, contract proposals from both sides were thinned to bare-bone packages. Previous LPOA proposals for increases in clothing and equipment allowances eventually fell by the wayside.
At one time, the LPOA also asked for an increase in the minimum amount of overtime paid for court appearances on an officer's day off. The request didn't appear in its final proposal to the city commission.
The LPOA represents Lawrence Police Department officers, corporals and detectives, 75 employees in all. The current pact expires Dec. 31.
Commissioner Bob Schumm said today that he found the agreement "very reasonable."
"I applaud the officers for working with the city and staying within boundaries in a tight economic year. I applaud their professional manner when dealing with the city," Schumm said.
The contract must be signed by the mayor, said Ray Hummert, city clerk. He said it typically takes a couple of weeks for both sides to iron out the wording of the complete agreement.
Both sides have expressed interest in beginning the negotiations for a 1994 agreement later this fall, according to the release.