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Police contract close to approval

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

The Town of Longboat Key and the Police Department negotiating representative have signed an employment contract that gives significant salary increases that will keep the employees in line with neighboring communities.

The agreement was reached following a negotiation session on Thursday, Feb. 25.

The three-year proposed contract will change the current 19-step pay plan into a 12-step plan, which is used by the majority of departments in the area. Part of the problem that this contract remedies, according to Sgt. Robert Bourque, is that the pay step levels, although they were in place were not being adhered to. That left everyone’s salary was more or less frozen.

The negotiated agreement will put everyone in the appropriate step that they should have been paid at and guarantees that there will be step increases for the next three years.

Additionally, the pay for Sergeants has been revamped.

Bourque said that when the town did a salary comparison, it was determined that the Sergeants were being severely underpaid.

If ratified, the Sergeants will be paid at the step one an annual salary of $65,197. The highest step under the new contract is a step 12 and that Sergeant would earn $81,064 per year. For some Longboat Key Sergeants, this new proposal will mean an immediate pay increase of nearly $20,000.

A step one officer will start at $45,361 under the new contract and will top out at step 12 with an annual salary of $68,489.

These changes will remedy a situation where some officers were earning more than Sergeants because the pay had been frozen for a number of years. Because of the disparity, the contract, if approved by a majority of the 16 police officers and subsequently the Town Commission, has a provision that will increase the pay immediately for the Sergeants. The rest of the contract changes will go into effect when the current contract expires on Sept. 30 of this year.

Another part of the contract defines the contribution the town makes to a 401A. The town will contribute 10 percent of salary to a 401A and will match up to another 3 percent for a total of 13 percent paid by the town.

“This contract is huge for us and the town and it has fixed an important pay issue. I’ll have to say the police chief, the town commission and Town Manager Dave Bullock all work together and there was a lot of give on the town’s side, but we did not get ridiculous numbers. We are very pleased and especially with Mr. Bullock’s effort. He was very careful and reasonable,” said Bourque.

In order to be finalized, the contract must receive 9 affirmative votes from the 16 police department members, and then the town commission will consider it at its March 7 regular meeting if that comes to pass.

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1 Response for “Police contract close to approval”

  1. Jeff Goss says:

    Why are the Police officers getting a good contract, but the town is so harsh on the Firefighters? In the good old days, the Firefighters were union, and all other town employees piggybacked on them without paying dues.

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