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Police deal, veto on agenda

Union Leader Correspondent

November 12. 2013 12:26AM

NASHUA — As aldermen consider whether to override the mayor's veto surrounding a portion of the Police Supervisors Association contract, a separate police union contract will be presented to city officials Tuesday night.

A tentative agreement has been reached between the Nashua Police Commission and the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Professional Employees Local 2232 of the Nashua Police Department, although it must be approved by the Board of Aldermen for official ratification.

The four-year collective bargaining agreement runs from July 2011 to June 2015, and includes a combined wage increase of 4.3 percent over the four-year period.

If approved, the 15 members of the union will not receive any pay increases for the first two years of the contract, but will earn a 1.8 percent increase in fiscal year 2014 and a 2.5 percent increase for fiscal year 2015, according to the proposal.

The recommended UAW contract, if approved by the Board of Aldermen, would require about $15,500 in negotiation contingencies from the current budget for proposed salary adjustments detailed in the agreement.The UAW agreement comes just three weeks after aldermen approved a controversial contract with the Police Supervisors Association that has since sparked a veto by Mayor Donnalee Lozeau for one portion of the contract.

The agreement with the police supervisors includes a combined 6.7 percent wage increase for sergeants and a combined 7.7 percent pay hike for lieutenants over a four-year period.

Despite the significant wage increases, Lozeau said previously that her major concern with the contract is a provision that allows union members to utilize 15 sick days toward retroactive health care costs. She is vetoing that portion of the bargaining agreement.

"I cannot support a provision that permits 32 city employees to avoid the actual cost of paying back their retroactive health care premium increasing using sick days," Lozeau wrote in a letter to City Clerk Paul Bergeron. "… Although some may argue there is a cash value to these accrued sick days, under the proposed agreement, that is not correct — there is no real cash value being returned to the health care program."

However, several aldermen have already said they will attempt to override the mayor's veto tonight.

"I am surprised that she vetoed it," Alderman Diane Sheehan, Ward 3, said recently of Lozeau. Sheehan said city officials now have an ideal opportunity to "walk the walk," adding it is important that the board does not allow the veto to stand.

Aldermen are expected to address the veto tonight, at which time a move to reconsider the original vote will be made. A majority vote is required for reconsideration.

If the motion to reconsider passes, an alderman may then move to override the veto. Ten votes are required to override the mayor's veto.

Aldermen will also have their first reading of the separate UAW police union contract. That proposal will be assigned to an aldermanic committee for further review before an official vote by the full Board of Aldermen. Tonight's meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Nashua City

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