Posted by: jgomori Posted date: November 29, 2022
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Flushing Township Police can’t say enough about the representation they received from the POLC in their latest contract.
The group garnered 9 percent raises coupled with incredible bonuses and enhancements, including a layered approach to supplementing retirement benefits for newer Employees.
“Those first three years they got a total of $12,000 in bonuses per Employee,” said POLC Labor Rep. Christopher Watts.
Sergeants also received a rank differential increase from 5 percent to 6 percent of Officers’ pay.
Employees hired on or after April 1, 2017 will receive significant boosts from Employer contributions to their 457 plans. The Employer contribution to the 457 MERS plan increased from 5 to 8 percent. In addition, they have an Employer matching contribution up to 2 percent into the 457B or equivalent Employer-provided plan. On top of those increases, the Employer is providing another 2 percent contribution to a non-MERS plan of the Employee’s choice.
“It’s equivalent to 17 percent for our retirement,” said Roy Hatchett, Flushing Township Police Local Union Steward. “It will be a separate retirement plan, not through MERS. MERS wouldn’t allow us to do it, so they opened up the ability to use a John Hancock or Edward Jones 457 Plan. We will own it, but the Township will contribute 2 percent into it.”
Employees hired prior to April 1, 2017 remain on their Defined Benefit plan. All Employees will receive a new 80-hour Pandemic Bank to be used for pandemic-related illness. Personal Leave increased from 30 to 36 hours yearly.
“If you get sick with COVID-19, instead of using Vacation, Personal or Sick Time, they built in an extra 80 hours yearly for any type of pandemic,” Hatchett said.
Overtime (OT) must now be equalized through a system of posting OT hours per Employee and requiring the Employer to offer OT first to the Employee with the least amount of OT.
A one-time payout of $1,000 per covered member is available for orthodontic work and Employees were provided an additional paid Holiday for their birthdays.
“Chris Watts was phenomenal through negotiations,” Hatchett said. “It was my first contract I was ever involved in. He coached us through it and it was as Blue as it could be. It made this a very smooth, successful contract.”