After working without a contract for the past seven months, Brookfield patrol officers and sergeants have come to terms on a new two-year deal with the village of Brookfield. On Aug. 24, the Brookfield Village Board voted unanimously to approve the contract, which is retroactive to Jan. 1 and expires Dec. 31, 2016. 

It’s the first contract Brookfield police officers have negotiated as part of the Illinois Council of Police (ICOPS). Brookfield officers voted to take on new representation in late 2014 after being represented for many years by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.

The contract calls for base salary increases of 2.5 percent each year, though officers who have been employed with the department for less than seven years are also eligible for step increases.

Step increases help boost salary raises and are geared toward boosting the pay of junior officers during their first few years on the force.

A police officer who began his or her first year with the department in 2015 will be paid $57,699. Next year, including the step raise that officer will be eligible for, the officer will be paid $63,169, an increase of 9.5 percent.

An officer beginning his third year on the force in 2016 will receive a raise of 13.4 percent, including the base pay raise and step raise, to $69,908. Patrol officers also receive generous raises in years five and seven.

A police officer who started his first year on the force in 2013 made $54,833. By the end of the new contract, that officer’s salary will be $73,444 — an increase of 34 percent in four years.

The salary of a patrol officer beginning his seventh year in 2016 will be $87,152. Any patrol officers with more than seven years’ experience receive base pay raises only.

Entry-level sergeants are paid $92,684 in 2015 and will receive a raise to $97,614 (5.3 percent) in 2016. A third-year sergeant in 2016 will be paid $100,235 annually.

The contract does include a provision that lowers base-pay raises in 2016 to 2.25 percent if the Illinois General Assembly votes to freeze property taxes prior to Jan. 1, 2016.

Other provisions in the new contract are largely the same as the previous deal. 

There has been no change to health insurance benefits provided to union police officers. The village will pay 85 percent of monthly premiums for both individual and dependent coverage, with the employee paying the remaining 15 percent. The village also pays 90 percent of dental coverage for the employee and 75 percent for dependents.

Police officers did win an increase in the amount of a life insurance policy provided by the village. That policy was increased to $50,000 from the $40,000 provided for in the previous contract.

Vacation time also did not change. Police officers get 10 vacation days after one year of service, topping out at 27 days after 25 years on the force. Officers also get 12.5 paid holidays, two personal days (sergeants get four) and two “demand days.”

Police officers earn eight hours of sick leave for each month of service and can accumulate up to 1,440 paid hours (60 days).

If the officer banks at least 576 sick pay hours, that officer is entitled to participate in a bonus program. An officer banking 576 hours who does not take a sick day during a 12-month period is entitled to eight hours of bonus pay.

Any police officer who terminates employment is entitled to be paid for unused sick time. Officers with less than 20 years of service are paid 50 percent for all accumulated sick leave up to 720 hours.

Officers with 20 or more years of service can collect 100 percent of accumulated sick time, up to 840 hours. In lieu of a cash payout, the officer can choose to use that money to fund monthly health insurance premiums after termination.