Web Extra! Updated 03/25/10, 11:49 P.M.

Talks between Brookfield police and village management broke down Tuesday, with the union calling the village’s final contract offer “unacceptable.” Unless the two sides reach an 11th-hour deal at a mediation session scheduled for March 30, two police officers will be laid off April 1.

On Wednesday, the Fraternal Order of Police’s negotiating team of officers Andy Lowry, Pete Coffelt and Dwayne Burrell issued a statement in which they expressed frustration with the village’s refusal to negotiate.

“Over the past several months, the union has come a long way to meet the village’s request for a wage freeze,” the officers stated. “We have made not just one, but numerous non-economic offers that would improve the work environment of the police department. All of these offers were rejected by the village.”

The village’s negotiating team, led by Village Manager Riccardo Ginex, will move ahead with the planned layoffs unless some kind of deal can be worked out with the help of a labor mediator on Tuesday, March 30.

Ginex said that the village is asking police officers for the same kind of deals it has won from three other bargaining units within village government, a zero-sum increase in costs for 2010.

Brookfield faced a financial crisis in 2009, laying off some staff members, freezing wages for non-union employees and cutting spending on services. In order to avoid further staff cuts in 2010, the village asked all of its union employees to accept a wage freeze during contract negotiations late last year. A non-union wage freeze was continued in 2010.

“All we wanted was the status quo for at least a year, and they’re not willing to do that,” Ginex said.

While police have stated they are seeking non-economic concessions from the village in exchange for accepting a wage freeze, Ginex said that the two major sticking points in negotiations would have an economic impact.

According to Ginex, police want additional vacation time and an increase in the longevity stipend paid to longtime officers contemplating retirement.

“Management has not had raises in two years, and other employees have had no raises, much less step raises,” Ginex said. “It’s sad it’s come to this.

“We just want parity. We just want fairness.”

Lowry confirmed that officers are seeking concessions on longevity stipends, but did not specifically confirm that they were looking for additional vacation time.

“The police are looking for creative ways to spend more time with their families (that will not cost the village money), in light of the fact that the schedule they are currently working wreaks havoc with their family life,” Lowry wrote in an e-mail. “As for the slight increase in seniority stipend, this is a one-time payout benefit for officers who have served 20-plus years on the department. This is also a way to encourage early retirement.”

Both sides may or may not come to an agreement at the mediation session on Tuesday. A mediator makes no binding decision; he is there to bring the two sides together to negotiate.

“If we come to an agreement on the 30th, we’ll put off the layoffs,” Ginex said.