Swansea patrol officers and sergeants will receive a 2.5 percent increase in pay under new contracts approved by the village board on Tuesday night. However, the officers and sergeants will have to contribute more toward their dependent health insurance.
James Daniels, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, described the contract as a "very fair deal for both sides. It matches the rate of inflation, which helps our guys, but it doesn't exceed it, which helps the village," Daniels said. "We're grateful to the trustees and Mayor (Jim) Rauckman for making it happen. The end result is a good deal for everybody."
Rauckman said he's satisfied with the contracts and how the negotiations were handled. Both unions have been working without a contract since the current contract expired last April 30.
"The two sides were very respectful of each other and worked through every issue with no threat of litigation," Rauckman said. "It was a good negotiation. I don't think anyone was 100 percent satisfied, but that's a sign of good negotiations."
Trustees unanimously approved two contracts with the FOP during their regular board meeting Tuesday at the Swansea Government Center -- one for the patrol officers and a separate one for the sergeants. However, Rauckman said the differences between the two contracts are minor.
Base wage rates for the patrol officers are outlined in the contract as follows: $29.04 per hour effective May 1, 2012; $29.77 per hour starting May 1, 2013; $30.51 per hour effective May 1, 2014; and $31.27 an hour starting May 1, 2015.
Base wage rates for sergeants outlined in the contract are as follows: $31.99 per hour effective May 1, 2012; $32.79 per hour starting May 1, 2013; $33.61 per hour effective May 1, 2014; and $34.45 per hour starting May 1, 2015.
The village will have to pay police officers and sergeants back pay from when the current contract expired to when the new contract was approved. Trustee Susan O'Malley, chair of the village's finance committee, said she estimated the retroactive pay to be approximately $21,000.
Both contracts cover a four-year period from May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2016. Daniels said having a four-year contract "creates stability for both sides."
In other business Tuesday, trustees approved the following:
* Rezoning property at 4905 to 4945 Stone Falls Center Drive from highway business to planned business district and replatting the property to individual lots.
* New businesses Dave's Detail Shop, to be located at 1307 N. Illinois St., and Paragon Certified Restoration, to be located at 2000 N. Illinois St.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or email@example.com.