Archive for Friday, July 24, 2009

Tentative agreement reached on Lawrence police and fire union contracts for 2010

City leaders avoided a budget battle after reaching a tentative agreement regarding labor contracts for 2010. The contracts will include a wage increase, though smaller than this year's.

July 24, 2009


City leaders were optimistic Friday that they had averted a major budget battle with city employees.

Leaders of the city’s police and fire unions reached a tentative agreement late Friday afternoon with City Hall over labor contracts for 2010.

The contract would give both groups a 0.5 percent general wage increase, which is less than the 1.5 percent increase the groups received this year.

The proposed agreement also would boost the amount of money the city sets aside for other city employees who are not part of the fire or police unions. The city originally had proposed increasing the amount of money set aside for merit raises to general employees by 1 percent. The city is now proposing that be increased to 1.25 percent. Police and fire employees under the agreement would receive the 0.5 percent general wage increase, and also would be eligible for merit pay increases. General city employees only would be eligible for merit increases.

The agreement would require an extra $80,000 in the city’s budget, which would come from the city’s fund balance account and would not require an increase in the property tax mill levy.

The unions and the city were at impasse and were scheduled to argue their cases before city commissioners on Tuesday evening.

Leaders with both unions said they were pleased, although their memberships still must ratify the agreements next week.

“Negotiations were tough, but they are supposed to be tough during these type of times,” said Detective Mike McAtee, chair of the police officers association. “But the mayor really stepped up and worked hard behind the scenes to get both sides to come together.”


mom_of_three 8 years, 10 months ago

I know fire and police were upset at only a 2% raise, and city employees are upset a little raises. But I did not get a raise this year at all, and my husband hasn't received a raise in two years. So take what you can get and be happy.

kujayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Ditto mom. I haven't had a raise in two years despite being told I was "one of the most valued employees." On the other hand, I watched 40% of my department get laid off last year.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 10 months ago

Knowing some of the cops. The discussion was about a merit pool increase meaning one lump sum of money was given to be split between all of the members. With that in mind some would get an increase and others would be inthe same boat as your husband with nothing at all. That did not even cover the employees who have been employed with the city long enough that they are tenured so to speak and they would be like your husband not getting anyting at all because they were not in the merit pool which is based on length of time with the department and your work ethic. Meaning the dedicated career people are what...

Granted they applied for these positions, but I sure like the fact they are out there in the tough times when I am sleeping or when the streets are packed every time KU wins a big tourney and is headed to the next level. Those guys and gals get their days off canceled miss family functions all the time. They have tough skins and I hope they can get better when times are better but I doubt it because there is a history of these stories in the paper every time they have a contract come up.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 10 months ago

They deserve a bigger raise than that. Is their paycheck at or below the poverty line.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 10 months ago

Another thing to think about is when you pay safety personnel a competitive wage you retain solid experienced employees who will be more efficient in performing their job which I think is very important when putting out a fire or catching bad guys. I have heard we have been losing a lot of quality people to other neighboring city in Johnson County over the years because wages were higher and they did not have to deal with as much of the hate and discontent you have to here with the public and city.

volunteer 8 years, 10 months ago

There was an article a few weeks ago that mentioned a city policeman age 32, with eight years on the job, earning a bit over 58 grand.

I think Lawrence has proven it will take care of its officers as well as it can within reason.

cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

In these times if you have a stable well paying job , which these are , just be happy. Little mini percent raises are overrated and make little difference in your lifestyle.

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