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Pay raises approved for Nashua police

Union Leader Correspondent

August 14. 2018 10:24PM
The Nashua Board of Aldermen unanimously approves a new police contract for city patrolmen on Tuesday, providing officers with a combined 10 percent pay raise over four years. (Kimberly Houghton)

NASHUA — City officials on Tuesday approved a new police contract that will provide patrolmen with significant salary adjustments.

The bargaining agreement that was unanimously adopted by the Board of Aldermen will provide 137 members of the Nashua Patrolman’s Association — one of five police unions in the city — a 10 percent wage increase spread out over a four-year period.

“I certainly believe that this is a tremendously mutually beneficial contract,” Chief Andrew Lavoie of the Nashua Police Department told aldermen before the vote.

Lavoie said Nashua’s police patrolmen are the heart and soul of the department and deserve raises, adding their performance is second to none.

According to the new contract, patrol officers will receive a 2 percent pay hike this year, a 3 percent increase the following year and a 2.5 percent increase in fiscal year 2021 and fiscal year 2022.

Currently, the combined base pay for the union members is about $9.9 million. With the new bargaining agreement in place, that amount will increase to nearly $10.9 million.

“They put their lives on the line everyday and I think they do an admirable job and I think they deserve to be rewarded for it,” said Alderman Richard Dowd.

Alderman David Tencza echoed those comments, saying the local police force is one of the best departments in the state, adding officers are well trained and the provisions in the new contract are fair.

The bargaining agreement was approved despite concerns from the American Civil Liberties Union about a provision in the contract that allows letters of warning, letters of suspension and remedial training or counseling forms to be purged from an officer’s personnel file after a certain number of years as long as they are not associated with the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, previously referred to as the Laurie List, which contains names of officers who could be problematic if called to testify during trial.

Aldermen said earlier that they have no authority over the clause that will enable select documents to be purged from an officer’s personnel file.

“The role of the Board of Aldermen being the legislative body of the city is to approve or disapprove of cost items,” Attorney Steve Bolton, corporation counsel for the city, said earlier, adding aldermen have no authority over the other provisions in the contract.

The concerns raised by the ACLU were not discussed on Tuesday.

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