Deadline for police officers’ early retirement approaches

YOUNGSTOWN — Mayor Jay Williams said his administration is “trying to give every opportunity” to its police patrol union to reduce costs before laying off officers.

But with no negotiations in more than a month and no plans to get together, the mayor says there’s only so long the city can wait.

Williams won’t give a date yet, but layoff notices to patrol officers won’t go out until after July 2. That’s the deadline for ranking police officers to apply for the city’s early-retirement buyout, an effort to reduce the department’s numbers without layoffs.

The city administration struck a deal on May 19 with the Youngstown Police Ranking Officers union to pay each member taking the deal a year’s base salary paid evenly over five years.

To date, four ranking officers have signed up for the offer with three others expected to take the deal.

The 115-member patrol union rejected a buyout offer from the financially strapped city May 22 that would also pay each member taking the deal a year’s base salary paid over five years. The union didn’t accept the offer because it included a reduction in the entry-level salary for an officer and increased the number of years — from 5 to 10 — that it would take for a new patrolman to reach the top of the pay scale, about $52,500.

The union and the administration haven’t met since the deal was rejected.

For the complete story, read Wednesday’s Vindicator or