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City Ratifies Agreement With Police Union

Three-year contract is in place that calls for wage increase, pension contribution.

The Oak Creek Common Council has approved a three-year agreement between the city and police union that calls for increases in wages and pension contributions.

Union members' wages will increase by 3 percent the first two years and 2 percent in the third year. In exchange, employees will make pension contributions to the Wisconsin Retirement System of 3 percent this year and 2.9 percent (or the state adjusted rate) the next year.

The contract also dictates that health insurance be discontinued for employees and their spouses when they turn 65. That's a potentially huge savings for the city, as it reduces the Other Post-Employment Benefits liability by an estimated $6 million to $7 million, according to a report to council members.

Instead officers will receive a payment -- 150 hours at their current salary -- that will be placed into Voluntary Employee Benefit Account, a health trust fund that can be accessed for medical expenses after retirement.

"This is a good agreement for the city," Peterson said. "It nets out about a 2 percent increase in cost to the city over a three-year period of time, and I think that's a significant part of the agreement."

The police union was also pleased with the contract, president Andy Sagan said. The concessions were made knowing the slow economy and the need to provide relief to taxpayers, he said.

"The Oak Creek Professional Police Officers Association is pleased we were able to work with the city's personnel committee to come to this agreement," Sagan said. "It is our belief this contract settlement benefits the city taxpayers as well as our members.

"We also believe it's a good example that collective bargaining is a process that still works and gives both the municipality and the employees a voice."

Alderman Mike Toman, who chairs the city's personnel committee, said reaching the agreement was a long process that paid off in the end.

"This last session went to mediation and it looked like we were heading to arbitration," Toman said. "We hung in there. It took us six hours to hammer this thing out."

Toman said the contract also puts the city "on a path" to settle with the firefighters union.

Alderman Ken Gehl was the lone council member to vote against the plan. He said the police union should be treated the same as other city employees, which means taking a pay freeze and paying more for their pension, and expected more cooperation given Oak Creek's fiscal situation.

"We all face the same budgetary problems and revenue problems," Gehl said. "They treat themselves as a special class of employees, (when) they're no better or worse than the rest of them."

ret850 April 01, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Vocal Local 1 is an extreme lefty who doesn't appreciate the services given. This is the same person who complains about traffic going by the house and expects strict enforcement by your police. Don't waste your time responding to "her".
vocal local 1 April 01, 2012 at 06:59 AM
OC police most definitely are not dealing daily with the same issues and situations Milw. and Racine police do and they are paid a lot more. The community is relatively safe as related to the character of its residents. I maintain we do not most often require the numbers of emergency response to 911 calls to maintain quality of service. I watched the response to a car abandoned off the boat launch in Bender. There were four fire vehicles, five or six OCPD, the sheriff's horse and trainer, a couple of parks workers, the sheriff's scuba divers and rubber raft, all standing around wasting time. No one entered the chest high water until the coast guard arrived. I'm all for calling for back up when needed. We have rapidly increasing numbers of persons financially strapped and stressed on mental health drugs and situations can get ugly quickly. I do not want to see any city employee threatened or injured. We have women officers that I'd rather see respond in a team situation. Still, I maintain they can respond more efficiently than in mass. At times I wonder how unprotected the rest of the city is with the large number of responders to a fender bender or elderly fall and so should you. As for police in the schools I don't know of any other community that has officers in the schools as we have. I’m in opposition to charging kids for a fight at school with battery or disorderly and creating a criminal juvenile record. Suspend or expel and let the parents deal with them.
doc1954 April 01, 2012 at 10:20 PM
If the parents were dealing with it , they wouldn't be fighting in school.Ask franklin how important cops in schools are.Why should women cops respond any differant them men cops.You have a problem with them too???Get your head out of the sand
Jim B. April 02, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I agree with William. And besides, when ever there is a shooting when has the last time you seen police storm the place guns blazing? they will set up a parameter outdoors and wait for the shooters to come out, just like they did Columbine.
Scott August 07, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Wow. Would the residents of oak creek repeat these things today? Police officers aren't special? We don't need a swat team? Suburban cops have it easy? Nice work at the temple, boys. We are all thankful for Lt. Murphy and every other officer who rushed to put their own life at risk on Sunday. Thank you all for keeping our community safe!

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