When contract negotiations began for Belleville’s nine unions, the union representing police department dispatchers and secretaries was the first to finish talks.
But the dispatchers and secretaries only received a three-year contract from the City Council in January while the eight other unions eventually received four-year contracts that started with 2 percent raises and ended with 3 percent raises in the last year.
To bring the police department dispatchers and secretaries in line with the other unions, aldermen on Monday night unanimously voted to extend the contract for dispatchers and secretaries into a fourth year and give them a 3 percent pay raise. The fourth-year of the contract will now begin on May 1, 2018, and end on April 30, 2019.
What happened was the dispatchers and the secretaries were the trailblazers. And so what we want to do is not penalize the trailblazers, or the people who actually set this up, which are the dispatchers and secretaries. So we want to give them that fourth year.
Police Chief Bill Clay
“What happened was the dispatchers and the secretaries were the trailblazers,” Police Chief Bill Clay told the council. “And so what we want to do is not penalize the trailblazers, or the people who actually set this up, which are the dispatchers and secretaries. So we want to give them that fourth year.”
Mayor Mark Eckert said, “Nobody would want to go first” in contract talks if the city did not give all the unions the same pay increases.
The original contract called for the dispatchers and secretaries to receive a 2 percent pay raise retroactive to May 1, 2015, a 2 percent raise this year and a 2 percent raise next year.
The starting pay for telecommunicators is $24.50 per hour this year and $15.89 per hour for police department secretaries.
In other business
▪ Aldermen approved the Belleville Christkindlmarkt’s request to have opening ceremonies on Nov. 25 with entertainment by Old Salt Union and a laser light show on the Public Square.
▪ The council authorized a no parking zone on the north side of North Church Street from Lucinda Avenue to Sherman Street. Also, a “cross traffic does not stop” sign will be installed on First Street at West A Street.
The City Council will next meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 at Lindenwood University-Belleville at 2600 W. Main St. because City Hall is undergoing renovation.