Proposed Police Contract Goes to Town Council

Police Chief William Hart, Town Manager Kevin Smith and police union steward Sgt. Adam Dyer outlined for the council a proposed three-year contract with the police union.
“There are three significant items,” Hart said. “One is a 1.8 percent annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) increase to the union members. Keep in mind that last year they went with a zero increase on a one-year extension. This is consistent with what’s being negotiated in most communities.

“The second significant money issue is the shift differential for afternoons and nights,” Hart said, noting it has not changed in 17 years.
“The third money item that is proposed to be changed is tuition contribution,” Hart said. “We have a very competitive use of that fund. Every year it is used up almost in the first semester as employees use it to continue their education, be better professionals and provide better service to the town.
“We also clarified who is covered by the contract and how long they’re covered,” Hart added.
The contract will also clarify language regarding temporary promotions to detective. “We clarified that it is a one year temporary promotion and clarified the exit strategy on that and clarified that it can be extended by the chief of police,” he said.
And language was clarified regarding officers who are also in the National Guard, should they be called into full-time service.
Hart said the average cost per year of the new contract is approximately $120,000 for the COLA, with the shift differential at $35,000.
He noted those are town numbers, while the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport pays for the Londonderry officers who work at the airport.
Budget Committee member Chris Melcher said that in past contracts, items such as vacation time were given back, and Hart said some items were given back and some of the language in the promotional process led to “serious internal bones of contention.
The council plans to review the contract.