Police contract tops Berlin Town Council agenda

Published on Sunday, 3 September 2017 22:43
Written by Charles Paullin

Staff Writer

BERLIN - Following a month break, the Town Council returns Tuesday to discuss the contract between the town and the police union, the potential site of senior living homes and the future of the Berlin Mobile Home Park, all among 23 items listed under “new business.”

The previous police contract expired on June 30, 2015, according to meeting documents. Initial discussions were delayed because the union sought new affiliation. Fraternal Order of Police, Berlin Police Union, Lodge 56, became the new representative in December 2015.

The new contract would be retroactive to July 1, 2015 and run through June 30, 2020, and include, among other non-financial procedural items, the following changes:

n A wage increase of 2.25 percent per year (retroactive to July 1, 2015).

n A shift differential of $1.25 an hour paid to anyone assigned to work patrol duties on midnight shift.

n Private duty assignment (not funded by the town) will pay all officers below the rank of lieutenant at the top-step sergeant rate.

n Longevity pay will cease to be effective for anyone hired on or after July 1, 2017.

n Changes in long term disability/disability, and defined contribution retirement.

n Police participants are able to contribute between 1 percent up to 4 percent of base pay, with the town matching at 200 percent. So if an officer contributes 4 percent, the town will contribute 8 percent.

n Police participants are able to contribute a total of 12 percent into the defined-contribution plan (only the first 4 percent will receive employer match).

n 5-year vesting period for new hires (there is now no vesting for police).

n Annual uniform allowance increases from $600 to $850.

n Members hired after 1995 will get 18 days of vacation after 12 years of service.

n Time of accruals will transition from fiscal year to date of employment anniversary.

n Transition all police to biweekly pay as of July 1, 2017.

n Officers on workers compensation leave will not earn holiday pay or holiday time.

The council will also discuss extending the option agreement between the town and the Berlin Housing Authority on the sale of land at 143 Percival Ave., as the option agreement has expired. The land was intended to be for development of low-income senior housing, but a conservation easement, limiting alterations to the land, was discovered.

The new agreement would include selling the Housing Authority the former Knights of Columbus site at 143 Percival Ave., with a portion to be retained by the town, and leasing a portion of the adjacent site, which is covered by the conservation easement, for a 30-year period with a 30-year option. Lot line revisions would need to be made to 143 Percival Avenue and Map 8-4, Block 54, Lot 65, in order to preserve the soccer and baseball field at Percival Park.

The council will also discuss allowing interim Town Manager Jack Healy to enter into negotiations with the Berlin Housing Authority for the sale of the Berlin Mobile Home Park from the town to the BHA.

The town feels that it is not in the best position to be a landlord or rental management company for the 16 residents, mostly older citizens with fixed or very limited incomes who would have no place else to go if the land were sold for development, according to meeting documents.

The meeting Tuesday begins at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers of Town Hall, 240 Kensington Road.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or cpaullin@centralctcommunciations.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, General News on Sunday, 3 September 2017 22:43. Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2017 22:46.