Crestwood police union rejects city’s proposed contract

A Crestwood police car.

A Crestwood police car.

Crestwood’s police union, represented by Teamsters Local 610, voted to reject the city’s proposed contract last week and cease negotiating.
The contract, which union negotiators had requested as both sides neared the end of over 14 months of good-faith bargaining, was a compromise that balanced improvements to the Police Department with what taxpayers could reasonably afford, according to a news release issued Friday by city officials.
The city and union had agreed on all non-economic terms, but reached an impasse on certain economic terms, and the police union voted Oct. 25 to reject the proposed pact, which would have:
• Provided an average raise of 12 percent for police union employees — roughly $5,700 per person with no officer receiving less than $4,000.
• Increased starting pay by over 9 percent to at least $49,180 from $45,180.
• Increased maximum pay by over 6 percent to at least $69,406 from $65,406.
• Improved operations by creating the position of corporal within the Police Department.
• Kept the city in sound financial condition so that it can continue to invest in quality equipment and necessary training for its police officers, and offer performance-based raises in future years.
The release stated that the Board of Aldermen wants to reassure residents that this action will have no impact on public safety, and that they can expect the same high level of service from their police officers.
Despite the vote, aldermen believe that the improvements contained in the city’s proposal are necessary and good for the community and its employees, and plan to implement all of the above changes and raises effective Jan. 1, pending approval of the 2018 budget, according to the release.
“We value our police officers, and want to show that with these raises,” Mayor Gregg Roby stated in the release. “Our residents strongly supported us last April by approving Prop C, a 45-cent property tax increase, and Prop P, the countywide half-cent sales tax.
“We hope that our officers understand we are offering what we can in light of the fiscal condition of the city, and have a duty to responsibly manage tax dollars and ensure we have money available for other city needs.”