City, union agree on last year’s police contract

City, union agree on last year’s police contract

WOONSOCKET – The City Council on Monday approved a new, one-year contract for the city’s police department, though with the contract expiring this past June, the department still does not have an updated contract for the current fiscal year.

The contract approved on Monday covers the period from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. It replaces a previous, five-year contract that expired in 2019.

According to a fiscal impact statement provided by the city Finance Department, the agreement will result in a $307,240 increase over the last contract, a sum that was not included in the city’s fiscal year 2020 budget. That includes salary increases of around 3 percent for officers along with corresponding increases in benefits.

The contract makes some changes to the department’s organization, adding an “accreditation sergeant” and giving the title of sergeant to the evidence officer, a position that’s already funded at a sergeant’s pay rate, according to the contract.

The city will also change to a bi-weekly pay schedule from its current weekly schedule beginning in December.

The new contract was first considered by the council back in September.

However, members wanted a work session to discuss the terms prior to bringing it to a vote. A virtual public hearing on the contract drew no comment on Monday, and the agreement passed by a 6-1 vote, with Councilor Alex Kithes voting against.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 404, which represents the city’s officers, have also ratified the new contract.