The Town of Evans and the Evans Police Department have reached agreement on a five-year deal, retroactive to Jan. 1.
Town of Evans Supervisor Keith Dash said the board approved the pact at its June 20 meeting.
“I thought that the union came and stepped it up,” Dash said, noting that the two sides reached the deal after three sessions of negotiations.
The agreement will include a pay freeze of salaries for two years, followed by a 1.5 percent pay hike in the third year; a 2 percent wage increase in the fourth year; and a 2.5 percent increase in year five.
Luke Fioretti, president of the Evans Police Benevolent Association, said the department was cognisant of the Town of Evans current fiscal problems and made concessions as a way to help ease the burden.
“We felt we needed to do our part to help them get back on their feet,” Fioretti said.
The Evans Police also agreed to restructure their health insurance policy to a high deductible plan. This move is expected to save the Town of Evans around $85,000 annually in health care costs alone, Dash said.
That number will be higher for new hires, said Fioretti, noting that the percentage will range from 10 to 25 percent.
“As the years pass, it will decrease,” Fioretti said.
According to Dash, at the end of the year, after any unused deductible, the town will give 40 percent of the cost back to the officers.
Dash said other cost-saving concessions were made.
“They restructured their uniform allotment,” the supervisor said.
That is expected to save the town an additional $10,000.
The two sides also agreed not to replace former officer Dennis Feldmann’s position. Feldmann retired and is now a member of the Evans Town Board.
Between all of the concessions, Dash said the new deal should mean a cost savings of about $150,000 a year.
“We will save the town money with no compromise to services,” Dash said.
Fioretti said the actual negotiation process began almost 18 months ago. A deal between the parties originally had been met in December, but he said with the town’s fiscal woes, the board decided at that time to hold off on a vote.
After the town board decided against voting for the original pact, the PBA decided to withdraw the deal and go back to the bargaining table.
The two sides came to an agreement in early June before the board approved it at its last meeting.
The old agreement expired on Dec. 31. The new deal runs through 2016.