Belleville’s police officers received a new contract Monday night when aldermen approved a four-year contract that calls for 2 percent raises in the first three years and a 3 percent raise in the fourth year.
The first year of the contract is retroactive to May 1.
Aldermen went into closed session to discuss the contract negotiations and then emerged to unanimously approve the collective bargaining agreement with the police union. The officers’ contract had expired last spring.
The union voted 59-9 in favor of the contract last month.
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Both sides came into it I think with very reasonable expectations and that showed in negotiations. It went by pretty fast.
Detective Chris Mattingly, president of Belleville’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 226
Police Chief Bill Clay, who once served as the union president, said the negotiations went smoothly and both sides showed “mutual trust and respect.”
“I’m very ecstatic about it and I think the men and women of the police department will be,” Clay said. “It gives the city labor peace, it gives the citizens a sense of confidence in knowing that we don’t have to go back to the table; this thing is resolved for at least four years.
“Labor issues can wreck morale in an organization like police or fire and I’m glad we don’t have that,” Clay said.
Detective Chris Mattingly, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 226, agreed with Clay that negotiations went well.
“We’re very happy with the contract,” Mattingly said.
Labor issues can wreck morale in an organization like police or fire and I’m glad we don’t have that.
Police Chief Bill Clay
“Both sides came into it I think with very reasonable expectations and that showed in negotiations. It went by pretty fast.”
Mattingly said the initial proposals from each side “were fairly close.”
“It didn’t long to work out the final details.”
This contract was for officers and sergeants but Clay said the city typically will give the command staff the same raises as the rank and file.
City Finance Director Jamie Maitret said the police contract will expire on April 30, 2019.
The base starting pay for a police officer is about $50,000 and the scale tops out at about $75,000 for a sergeant.
The city has nine unions overall and eight of them had contracts that expired on May 1. Aldermen approved new contracts this winter for two of the unions, the dispatchers and police secretary union and the library union. With the settlement of the police contract, there are now five unions that still don’t have a new contract.
In other business
Aldermen took the following action Monday night:
▪ Approved liquor licenses for the Double Barrel Bar & Eatery, planned for 200 E. Main St., and for The Red Onion, planned for 923 W. Main St. The Red Onion site is at the former Maxwell’s Restaurant and later Flamingo’s Restaurant location. Also, the board allowed multifamily housing above the Double Barrel.
▪ OK’d The Edge’s request to rezone 205 Union Ave. from single-family to commercial. The Edge operates a movie theater, laser tag arena and sports pub at 701 South Belt West. Ward 2 Alderman Mike Buettner cast the lone vote against the request. He said he patronizes the business but was concerned about the business’ outdoor lighting affecting nearby residences.
▪ Authorized scrapping some old police department cars. The vehicles to be scrapped and their mileage are: a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria with about 120,000 miles, a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria with about 129,000 miles and a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice with about 98,000 miles. Clay said the vehicles are in poor condition. Aldermen also approved the sewer department’s plan to scrap a 1991 Chevrolet S-10 pickup with about 107,000 miles and a 1998 Ford pickup dump with about 142,000 miles. Firefighters will use the vehicles for extrication training.
▪ Voted to allow Jo Ann Bumpers to operate a beauty salon at 7624 W. Main St.