Trustees, police reach agreement on contract

The pact is retroactive to the first of the year.
POLAND -- Township trustees have reached a contract agreement, including pay raises and increased personal days off, with patrolmen and sergeants in the police department.
The contract is for three years and will be retroactive to the beginning of 2003.
Patrolmen will receive a 4 percent pay increase in the first year, 3 percent the second and 2 percent the third. There is also a 50-cent-per-hour step increase after five years and 10 cents an hour for each additional year up to 10 years.
Sergeants will be paid 12 percent higher than the highest-paid patrol officer. Police Chief Carl Massullo will be paid 15 percent higher than the highest-paid sergeant. The chief's rate of pay in the first year will be about $28.30 per hour.
Under the new contract, all officers will receive up to five personal days per calendar year, up from three. Holiday pay will also increase from 2 1/2 times the regular rate to 3 times.
Other provisions
The uniform allowance goes up by $100 over the three-year contract from the current rate of $700. It will increase to $750 the first year and increase by an additional $25 each year after that.
Officers who maintain a safe driving record will continue to receive an annual $100 bonus.
There is no change in health coverage for the first two years of the contract. Trustees and the union could not reach an agreement on a copay requirement for the third year of the contract. A fact-finding session has been scheduled for April 23.
Township administrator James Scharville said the township was able to save about $36,000 in health costs this year by leaving a county-sponsored program and going with Anthem.
Scharville said although the township is in good shape for the next two years, trustees are concerned about the potential rise in insurance costs after that. "We are doing what we can to keep the cost down, but nobody knows what that third year is going to be," he said.