Police supervisor union contract approved in NashuaBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
April 09. 2014 8:02PM
NASHUA — After working without a contract for nearly three years, a new bargaining agreement was approved this week for the Nashua Police Supervisors Association, however it will still need to be authorized by the mayor before officially being ratified.
The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday unanimously approved the new, four-year contract between the supervisors union and the Nashua Police Commission.
The bargaining agreement, which will run from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2015, was approved without any discussion by the board. It will offer a combined 6.7 percent wage increase for sergeants and a combined 7.7 percent pay hike for lieutenants over the four-year period.
“I am pleased this moved forward. It is a big investment to train all of these guys, and you really want to keep your work force and be the best you can be. It is not just about staying current with pay standards, but keeping the (police) force intact,” Alderman David Deane, board president, said Wednesday.
With the new salaries, Police Chief John Seusing said previously that the department’s wages for supervisors will now be more competitive and in sync with other police departments in similar size to Nashua’s.
According to the new contract, 23 police sergeants will obtain a retroactive 1 percent wage increase for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, a 2.2 percent hike in 2014 and a 2.5 percent jump in 2015. The nine lieutenants will receive a retroactive 2 percent salary increase in 2012, a 1 percent raise from 2013, a 2.2 percent hike in 2014 and a 2.5 percent jump in 2015.
In November, the Board of Aldermen initially approved an agreement with the police supervisors, but Mayor Donnalee Lozeau vetoed a provision in the contract that would have allowed members to pay for retroactive health care costs using sick days. The union then went back to the bargaining table and presented its latest proposal earlier this year, which has union members paying for retroactive health care costs with payroll deductions instead of sick days.
“They compromised with the request of the administration,” Deane said.
Lozeau said Wednesday that she is pleased the new contract met her requests concerning health care concessions.
“That was a big priority for me, and I think that was important to keep the concessions consistent among city unions,” said the mayor.
Lozeau said, however, she still has some concerns with select cost items within the bargaining agreement, in addition to some language regarding named carriers that was originally removed from the contract but was added back into the final version.
“I have not made my final decision,” Lozeau said of placing her final stamp of approval on the agreement. Still, she said she is leaning toward moving the contract forward.
“It has been a long time coming. I haven’t had time to focus on this, so that is my next step,” said Lozeau.