Oregon City Council approved a three year contract with the Oregon Police Command Officers/Fraternal Order of Police, and the Ohio Labor Council at a meeting last week.
“This is the first in a step of labor agreements we will be dealing with this year,” City Administrator Mike Beazley said to council. “It is important to note that in a time when we are trying to hold the line on expenses, both sides did a good job in recognizing the fiscal challenges facing the region, and agreed to a labor agreement with no wage increases the first year and wage reopeners in years one, two and three.”
It is the first time the city has negotiated a labor agreement with no wage increases scheduled, said Beazley.
“Obviously, future years have yet to be determined. The command officers were very open and they want to work with the city as we go through these times, and I feel good about the outcome,” he added.
The contract is effective from June 1 of this year through May 31, 2014. In June of each year, either party may reopen the agreement to negotiate wages only after year one and year two of the agreement.
“Obviously, from a management perspective, if times remain as they are, we’d like to have [wages] flat. If there’s no reason for raises, there’s no reason for raises. We want to make sure our rates are consistent with jurisdictions around us. We have had a number of other jurisdictions that have given raises this year. Toledo, Sylvania, and Perrysburg have all provided raises to their police officers, and we didn’t. I think our officers recognize the challenge that we’re in, did a good job at the bargaining table and recognize that these are tight times. Our revenues are down, and they want the community to thrive,” said Beazley.
The city used to give 4 percent wage increases each year “not that many years ago,” said Beazley.
“It’s kind of reckless to promise wage increases until we see what’s going on two years from now,” said Beazley. “It’s really hard to go two to three years and promise money that might not exist. So I think this is responsible, it protects the community, and it’s responsible to the officers as well.”
Council unanimously voted in favor of the contract.
“This is a fair and flexible contract for both the city and command officers,” said Councilman James Seaman.
Councilman Mike Sheehy agreed.
“I’d like to thank both the administration and the police officer’s organization for providing this kind of leadership,” said Sheehy.