Bedford police 4-year contract includes raises, hikes in benefits
The town council approved the new contract on Jan. 22, contingent upon voters’ approval of cost-related items to be presented as a warrant article at town meeting on March 12.
The contract includes $3,397,487 in annual salaries, holiday pay, educational incentives, retirement benefits, health/dental and life insurances, longevity and uniform allowances — an increase of $194,920 over the previous contract that expired in December.
Councilor Bill Dermody said he hopes the police union will be considerate of any additional cost increases that may occur during negotiations in 2016 and 2017.
“We initially entered into negotiations offering the same wage and benefit package we offered our other unions, which was a 2 percent increase and a specific insurance plan,” she said. “While it looks like a 3-1/2 percent increase, we are going to garner savings, not only in this year but in future years, on health insurance plans so we won’t be paying as much in premiums. They did chose plans with deductibles, which they didn’t have before, and those plans are considerably less.”
In previous years, the average raise increases were from 5.3 to 5.5 percent, she said.
“Personally, I do not think that a raise percentage given to the recreation department or the accounting department can be looked at in the same sense and light as you look at a raise given to a public safety function like police,” Scanlon said.
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