After working for nearly a year without a contract, Brookfield police officers have agreed to a new two-year deal that gives police union members base salary raises of 2.5 and 2.65 percent, in addition to any step increases they may be eligible for.
The Brookfield Village Board voted unanimously on Nov. 11 to ratify the contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2014. Pay raises for 2013 are retroactive to Jan. 1 and a pro-rated share of the money will be paid in a lump sum to the patrol officers and sergeants covered under the agreement.
Members of the department’s command staff, from the rank of lieutenant on up, are not part of the collective bargaining agreement.
The starting pay for a patrol officer in Brookfield in 2013 is $54,833 and in 2014 will rise to $56,286.
However, during the subsequent six years of the officer’s career, he or she is eligible for annual step increases, which push salaries higher than the modest annual base pay raises.
For example, an officer hired in 2013 at $54,833 will be paid, due to a step increase, $60,126 in 2014 — a raise of 10 percent. An officer who will be starting his seventh year on the force in 2014 will be paid $82,958.
After the seventh year on the force, officers are no longer eligible for step increases and receive only the base salary raise agreed to in the contract.
The base pay for a sergeant promoted to that rank in 2013 is $88,074. That same officer in 2014 will make $92,914, an increase of 5.5 percent. A sergeant beginning his third year at that rank in 2014 will make $95,397. There are no step increases for sergeants following that third year.
According to Police Chief Steven Stelter, the issue that held up negotiations was health insurance. Both sides were unable to get solid rates from the village’s insurance provider until June, according to Stelter.
The contract calls for police officers to pay 15 percent of the cost of their health insurance premiums for single or family coverage. The village pays the remaining 85 percent. The village pays 90 percent of dental coverage for single coverage and 75 percent of dependent coverage.
In addition, the contract provides individual employees a $40,000 life insurance policy at no cost to the employee. Employees also receive 12 paid holidays, two personal days and two “demand” days. Police officers get 10 days of vacation time after one year of service with the village up to a maximum of 27 days after 25 years of service.
Officers received nominal increases in the amount the village provides each of them for the cost of uniforms and leather goods.
A new provision in the contract states that any money paid out to sergeants when they retire as the result of accrued sick days and vacation time must be placed in a health savings account.
Money from that account will be used to pay health insurance premiums after retirement. The village does not contribute any money toward retirees’ health insurance premiums.