The City of Lockport has a new deal in place with its police department union. It will increase the number of rank-and-file officers over the next two years and all officers will eventually switch from 12-hour shifts to 8 hours.
At last night’s council meeting, Mayor Anne McCaffrey said the deal addresses several outstanding problems for the city.
In exchange, the number of captains in the department will be reduced from four to two as the city’s present captains retire. That will save the city $216,000 per year. The salaries for the six new police officers will also be lower to start than existing officers. It will take the new recruits three years to reach the starting salary of $44,000 that existing officers were hired at. And for the first time ever, new officers will be forced to pay a portion of their health insurance, 15 percent, for the duration of their employment and in their retirement.
Not everyone on the council voted yes. Second Ward Alderwoman Anita Mullane abstained from voting, saying the council was only given a copy of the agreement at 5 p.m. Yesterday, just before the council was asked to vote. Mullane abstained.
Alderman Pat Schrader wasn’t present for the meeting. The deal ends five different labor grievances the city was facing from the union over employment practices outside the former labor contract, which expired in 2012.