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Nashua aldermen to review proposed police union deal

NASHUA — Four months after the Board of Aldermen rejected three collective bargaining agreements tentatively reached by city police unions, one of those unions has prepared a new contract.

This week, aldermen will be presented with a revised agreement from the Police Supervisors Association that proposes a combined 6.7 percent wage increase for sergeants and a combined 7.7 pay hike for lieutenants over a four-year period.

Earlier this summer, aldermen failed to approve three police union contracts, including the supervisors contract, police communications contract and the UAW contract.

At the time, a few aldermen cited preferential treatment in the agreements, noting some of the union contracts did not include retroactive health care concessions from the last two years.

In addition, at least one of the contracts — the supervisors association — was recommending salary increases that some aldermen maintained were significantly higher than other city unions.

Under the previously proposed supervisors union contract, police lieutenants would have received a 5.2 percent wage increase over three years, and sergeants would have received a wage increase of 4.2 percent over that same time frame.

The newly proposed contract suggests that sergeants receive a 1 percent pay increase in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, a 2.2 percent increase in 2014 and a 2.5 percent increase in 2015.

The lieutenants, under the newly proposed agreement, would obtain a 2 percent pay increase in 2012, a 1 percent increase in 2013, a 2.2 percent increase in 2014 and a 2.5 percent increase in 2015.

“The purpose and intent of this provision is to maintain sufficient wage differentials between the ranks of master patrolmen and sergeant, and between the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant, and to provide incentive for promotion and to recognize more complex levels of responsibility,” says the proposed agreement.

If approved, nearly $66,000 in contingency funds will need to be transferred into the police account for payroll adjustments for the existing budget cycle.

The contract covers 23 sergeants and nine lieutenants. Currently, the total base pay for all 32 positions is about $2.5 million annually. If the new agreement is adopted, a combined $181,609 (throughout the next four years) will be necessary to pay for the wage increases that will result in a new base pay of $2.7 million for the 32 police supervisor contracts, according to the document.

Most of the police unions have been working under contracts that expired more than two years ago.

Police Commissioner Thomas Pappas said previously that he was disappointed city officials did not approve the previously proposed agreements, maintaining both groups worked diligently over an extended period of time to draft the proposed contracts that ultimately were not ratified.

“Certainly, it is not healthy to have the unions without a contract for that long. It has an impact, certainly on morale and eventually, I predict, it will have an impact on recruiting,” Pappas said at the time.

On Tuesday, aldermen will have their first reading of the newly proposed agreement. The contract will then be reviewed by an aldermanic committee before a final recommendation is made.

Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Nashua City Hall.

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