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Police Contract Arbitration Award Decided

09/08/2016
Police Contract Arbitration Award Decided

An arbitration panel has settled on a new three year contract, retroactive to January 1, 2016, between the city of Allentown and its police union.

The contract includes significant changes in health care and annual wage increases.

The health insurance plan will take effect on January 1, 2017 and will provide a PPO plan for all covered officers and their dependents. Covered officers will for the first time be required to contribute 5% of the premium equivalent cost of the plan coverage selected unless the officer, and spouse, if covered by the plan, each complete an annual physical exam and participate in designated wellness activities. This will save the city upwards of $300,000 in projected health care costs in the first year and will reduce costs throughout the life of the contract.

The contract also includes wages increases of 3%, 3% and 3.5%, a longevity pay boost for all officers with at least 20 years of service and minor increases in clothing and post-secondary education allowances.

“Overall this is a good contract for the city, its residents and members of the Allentown police force,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “I had hoped that we could come to a settlement without resorting to arbitration, but that wasn’t the case. I think each side got something it wanted. I am disappointed with the decision over the size of the wage increase (The city had requested 2% and 2.5% wage increases, the FOP had requested 5%), but I’m very pleased with the changes to the health plan which we are trying to bring more in line with plans found in the private sector.”

The contract is in effect through December 2018.

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