Labor deal reached between city and police - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Labor deal reached between city and police

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Eau Claire has struck a deal with police.  The city and Eau Claire Professional Police Association have a labor agreement in place.

Officers have been working without a contract since July of last year.  The key issue in negotiations was employee contributions to retirement.  Act 10 did not require police and fire to pay the employee share, like most other public union workers.  Under this new agreement, police officers and their supervisors have voluntarily agreed to pay the full employee share which is 5.9% of what they make.  That goes up to 6.65% next year.  That figure also represents the pay raise they'll receive.  It's called a net-zero approach; wage increases are off-set by city savings in benefits.

Their take home pay will actually drop slightly as officers will pay more for health insurance.  One city council member said uncertainty about future state budgets or legislation may have helped the negotiation process.  "I'm sure the bargaining groups thought, they don't know what's going to happen, so this was probably the best avenue for them to go, the best for the city to go and we can get back and start working on other issues that we come across," said Eau Claire City Council Member Mark Olson.

The new contract covers July of 2011 through June of next year, so it may not be long before the two sides are back at the table negotiating a new two-year contract.

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