Four police union contracts presented to Nashua aldermen
Aldermen did not officially ratify the four contracts on Tuesday but instead forwarded the proposals to the aldermanic Budget Review committee for further analysis.
The union workers have agreed to take a 10 percent hit in health care costs, but several wage increases are being recommended. If authorized by city officials, the union contracts, which expired nearly two years ago, will now be valid until June 30, 2014.
Earlier this year, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau publicly called upon the parties negotiating the five contracts to reach a reasonable resolution reflecting the same principles of fairness and equity achieved in other employee contracts.
During her State of the City address, she stressed that 10 of the city's 15 unions have successfully renegotiated contracts that resulted in employees paying a 10 percent increase in premium health care costs retroactively to Oct. 1, 2011.
Lozeau said that by the end of February, there was a shortfall in contributions by police employees totaling $438,415 because the five police unions have not renewed their contracts.
All of the bargaining agreements presented to aldermen on Tuesday include significant health care concessions.
Under the tentative agreements, members of the Nashua Police Communications Employees union will receive step increases starting at 1.5 percent in 2014, while members of the Teamsters Local 633 union will see $600 increases for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and a $925 increase in 2014.
The tentative agreement with the U.A.W. Professional Employees of Nashua Police Department includes a 3.5 percent increase in 2013, while wage increases for the Police Supervisors Association range from 1 percent to 2.2 percent - depending on rank - in fiscal years 2012 through 2014.
Negotiations are continuing with the fifth and final police union, the Nashua Police Patrolman's Association.
During negotiations, Police Commissioner Thomas Pappas said the commission and the unions have been making a good faith effort for nearly two years to ratify the expired contracts, adding he personally attended numerous mediation sessions.
"We are trying hard. We are taking this very seriously. I can understand the frustration, as we are a bit frustrated ourselves," Pappas said previously "But I don't remember anyone declaring an impasse. We continue to talk."