Gurnee, IL – At the two most recent meetings of the Gurnee Village Board, the Board of Trustees approved labor contracts with the police bargaining units. The contracts will expire on April 30, 2015. Gurnee patrol officers are represented by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), while sergeants are represented by the Illinois Council of Police (ICOPs).
In a change from past negotiations, representatives of both bargaining units agreed to meet with Village representatives without legal counsel through most of the process. The officers were able to agree to a proposal in seven meetings and the sergeants had an agreement worked out in just four meetings. Without the need for a labor attorney in a majority of these meetings, the Village was able to save several thousand dollars in legal fees.
The FOP contract with patrol officers provides a final adjustment of 2.11% in the first year. Unlike previous contracts, there is no fixed adjustment in the remaining two years. Future adjustments will be based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Chicago area and any market adjustment necessary in officer base salary when compared to similar departments in the area. The sergeants also agreed to a three year contract with a non-traditional wage schedule.
Gurnee Police Chief Kevin Woodside commented “Things get done quickly when reasonable people come together and put the needs of the community first. I have the utmost respect for the officers and sergeants at the table focusing on a fair agreement that made sense for both sides.”
Mayor Kristina Kovarik stated, “The Village Board and I commend staff and members of the Police Department bargaining units for thinking outside of the box. By basing salary adjustments largely on the Consumer Price Index, taxpayers can be assured that changes are fair and justifiable.” She continued to say, “To diverge from the traditional approach to bargaining requires trust, respect, and an open-mind. While these values are exhibited by all Village employees on a daily basis as they serve the residents of Gurnee, I’m pleased to see our police employees display them so strongly at the negotiation table.”
The sergeants bargaining team included Sergeants Jim Lange, Jon Ward and Dave Farrow. The bargaining team for the patrol officers was made up of Officers Jeff Hauptman, Mark O’Brien and William Stashkiw. The teams explained that given the current economic environment, they felt more would be accomplished by continuing to foster a strong working relationship with the Village. The bargaining teams appreciated the opportunity to work side by side with the Village and Chief Woodside on the new salary adjustment model and look forward to continuing this strong working relationship in the future.
Cmdr. Jay Patrick
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