Pennsylvania

Reading approves a new contract with police officers, but not without opposition | Local news

Newly approved by Reading City Council Agreement Talking to city police and department supervisors at a special meeting on Tuesday night, one lawmaker was concerned about the impact on the city’s budget.

The council submitted a vote on the contract last Monday as it sought more time to consider the contract. After that, we met in an executive session of about one hour to learn about the contract negotiations that took place.

The contract between Police Symphony No. 9 and AFSCME Local 3799 required a 4.5% and 4% salary increase, which is higher than the 2.5% salary increase in the 2021 budget.

City councilman Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz said he was dissatisfied with the wage increase.

“I think the AFSCME and FOP members are very valuable,” she said. “I’m uncomfortable with the fact that I’ve allocated 2.5% (within my budget) and can I handle this increase in the future?” I don’t know. I’m worried about the potential burden on taxpayers. “

Treasury director Jammer Kelly explained that the wage increase was negotiated, approved under the Act 47 exit plan and approved by city supervisor PFM.

The exit plan states:

  • Police should keep it below $ 17.9 million in 2021 and less than $ 18.6 million in 2022.
  • Firefighters should be below $ 12.7 million in 2021 and $ 13.3 million in 2022.
  • The AFSCME Local 3799 supervisor’s salary cap is $ 1.7 million in 2021 and $ 1.79 million in 2022.
  • The salary limit for local 2763 employees is $ 12.3 million in 2021 and $ 12.7 million in 2022.
  • The salary limit for employees not represented by the negotiating body is $ 6.5 million in 2021 and $ 6.7 million in 2022.

Kelly added that the city has a 2.5% budget for salary increases, but it can cover the cost of higher salaries by not filling up unsatisfied jobs and perhaps using the city’s savings. It was.

“This important investment not only helps to retain executives, but also Recruitment Employment at the Leading Police provides a solid career to support your family, “Kelly said last week.

The agreement also allows for increased survivor leave, a sick leave donation program, an extended military leave period, and a new sick leave incentive program.

Officers who do not take sick leave during the calendar year will receive $ 1,000. Officers who take 24-hour or two-day sick leave will receive $ 500.

The council approved the contract with a 6-to-1 vote, and Cepeda-Freytiz voted against it.

FOP President Charles Menges is happy with the new deal.

“The FOP is grateful to the city authorities for their hard work towards the deal,” Menguez said. “This contract should be of great help to help us. Retention and recruitment Effort. “

“I’m disappointed that one member of Congress ignored the approval of PFM and the administration and voted against the contract,” Menguez added. “Public safety is a top priority, and public safety is a top priority. We need to stay competitive, so we don’t lose the talented police officers we trained. “

Mayor Eddie Moran was not present at the meeting, but his Chief of Staff Frank Denbowski read a prepared statement from him.

“Since the inauguration of my administration, I have embraced the public mission of building better reading together,” the statement states: “I am the basis for the success of this effort. We did this by providing a pillar. The first pillar of a safe street and a safe neighborhood is made possible by our investment in great men and women in blue clothes. “

Opposition to public opinion

Three residents voiced opposition to the police contract in parliament last week, one of whom was angry with the city’s FOP.

Becky Ellis, a member of the Reading Board of Education, said that if Congress voted in favor of the contract, it would be a “vote to continue the oppression of the population.”

“Political activity in our country is rooted in racism,” Ellis said. “The specific targets of police socio-economic groups are clear nationwide, and the only way to end their repression is to start here at your home in Reading.”

Ellis called on Moran to freeze the police budget, cut it each year, and divert that money to social welfare.

Menguez was unable to hear Ellis’s comments at the meeting as Ellis and other police officers were at the shooting site at 200 blocks on Mulberry Street.

“The afternoon shift has been busy with fights and calls for gun violence,” he wrote in a statement last week. “Our police officers are significantly less paid and overworked than police officers in the county.”

According to Menges, the FOP and city officials worked hard to negotiate a contract to make police competitive.

Menguez also disputed Ellis’s remarks that police were oppressing the population.

“‘Continuous repression of the inhabitants’ is the result of violent crimes, not by police officers,” Menguez wrote. “What other professions will be slandered by what happens on the other side of the country? What is the reality of reducing police budgets to strengthen and make communities safer?”

AFSCME contract

The council also voted 6 to 1 to approve the new contract with AFSCME Local 3799, which represents the city’s supervisors. The contract includes a 4% price increase in 2021 and 2022.

Cepeda-Freytiz voted against the deal.

Last week, Kelly said the two-year contract officially allowed 11 paid vacations for employees, doubling the amount of work done on Sundays and increasing vacation time.

Employees can now take 7 days off if they work in the city for 1 to 3 years, and 10 days after 4 years. Previously, employees worked for up to three years and took five days off.

Denbowski read a statement by Moran asking Congress to approve the contract.

“This negotiation unit consists of the city’s first-level supervisors, the link between city policy and action, and the link between management and employees,” the statement read. Ensures that decisions made by department directors, managing directors and mayors are carried out. “

Reading approves a new contract with police officers, but not without opposition | Local news

Source link Reading approves a new contract with police officers, but not without opposition | Local news

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