New police contract approved with 3 percent annual increases

By Susan Mustapich | Mar 13, 2019
Source: File photo

CAMDEN — The Select Board approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the town's police union March 12, with 3 percent annual salary increases for each year of the contract.

Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne said March 13  the police union asked for the pay increase, with no change in health benefits, and the request was agreeable to the town.

"We enjoy a very good relationship with our police union," Gagne said.

The town and union have now negotiated three consecutive contracts in-house, he said, without having to bring in an outside negotiator.

This year, contract negotiations began in February. Gagne pointed out that the new contract was completed months in advance of the July 1 deadline.

Police department wages will increase to $768,000 in in the proposed 2019-20 buget, up 4.26 percent from $736,600 in the current budget, according to Finance Director Jodi Hanson. These wages include the following positions: full-time and part-time officers, parking officer, administrative officers, special duty and overtime.

The portion of department wages for union members totals $463,300 in the 2019-20 budget, up from $438,300 in the current budget, which is a 5.7 percent increase, according to Hansen. This takes into account several step increases for officers in the union as well.

The union contract includes an annual 3 percent cost-of-living increase each year, and the following pay differentials: 15 cents per hour for night shift officers, who work after 4 p.m; 30 cents per hour for officers with an associate degree;  60 cents per hour for officers with a bachelor's degree; 30 cents per hour for regular military service and 60 cents per hour for combat veteran service.

Total retirement contributions for the police department are proposed to increase 8.2 percent to $75,200 in the 2019-20 budget, up from $69,500 in current budget, according to Hanson.

Part of the $75,200 is retirement benefits for union members totaling $49,110 in 2019-20 budget, an increase of 6.76 percent over the amount of  $46,000 in the current budget

For the entire police department, health insurance is proposed at $242,500 in the 2019-20 budget, down from $267,000 in current budget, which is a 9.18 percent decrease.

A final change in the contract is that vacation will begin to accrue on the officer's hiring anniversary, instead of beginning Jan. 1.

While Camden and Rockport share the services of Police Chief Randy Gagne, Rockport police officers are billed to the town of Rockport, and are not included in the union contract for Camden police officers.

Gagne's wages are shared by the two towns, with 40.71 percent of the chief’'s wages, FICA/Medicare, retirement and health insurance paid by the town of Rockport on a monthly basis.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.