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Local News

Lockport reaches new agreements with unions

Council considers new contracts with police, public works unions that include higher pay raises

Shaw Media file photo
Shaw Media file photo

The Lockport City Council is considering two new four-year contracts with its police and public works unions that include higher pay raises – 3 percent for the next four years.

City Council members were presented contract proposals with the International Union of Operating Engineers; Local 150; and the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, Chapter
No. 75 that, if approved, will go into effect July 1.

The unions’ current contracts expire at the end of June. Those contracts included 2.5 percent pay raises for the first two years and 1.5 percent for the last two years. The contract before that increased wages by
2.5 percent for four years, City Administrator Ben Benson said.

The City Council is expected to approve both new contracts at its
Jan. 16 meeting. The contracts will then be final once they are ratified by each union, respectively.

The two resolutions did include the provision that while both the city and the union acknowledge “the current contract offer is afforded by the current financial stability and recent positive growth trends of the City of Lockport,” the city would reserve the right to renegotiate if its financial conditions were to change.

“We had the spirit of ‘times are well right now,’ and we wanted to leave an opportunity to re-bargain if times change,” Benson told council members during the Committee of the Whole portion of Wednesday night’s meeting.

Alderman Jim Petrakos said since there are “uncertainties” in the future with topics such as the rising costs of health care, “it’s good to know that we have an open dialogue with all our employees, so that we can have that discussion in the future.”

Police Chief Terry Lemming said the proposal is “very fair” and “both sides negotiated in good faith. That’s the sign of a healthy city.”

Both public works and police employees would get 3 percent raises each year for the next four years with no changes in employee expenses, such as health care, according to the proposed contracts. The city will continue to pay 100 percent of health insurance premiums.

With the changes, the salary of a new public works employee would start at $49,449.88 on July 1 and increase to $54,035.22 on July 1, 2022.

For new patrol officers, the starting salary on July 1 will be $62,112 and increase to $67,871 on July 1, 2022.

For new sergeants, the starting salary on July 1 will be $98,994 and increase to $108,173 on July 1, 2022.

The City Council typically meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the Central Square Building, located at 222 E. Ninth St. in Lockport.

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