Upper Southampton Township Police Wins Four-Year Contract in Arbitration
The police force of Upper Southampton Township in Pennsylvania is celebrating its arbitration victory that saw the force awarded a four-year contract that specifies pay raises and other benefits increases.
The arbitration award orders annual pay raises, which will raise the base salary for officers to $90,000 annually by the year 2016. The contract is retroactive to 2013 and specifies a pay hike on base officer pay of 3% in 2013, 3.25% in 2014, 3.5% in 2015, and 3.75% in 2016. This is opposed to the 2% annual raises that the township offered when negotiations with the police union stalled in March of 2013 and is actually in excess of the 3% raises the union had sought.
The old base salary for officers had been set at $79,096 but will be $90,325 in 2016. The Township has expressed dismay and doubt about their ability to pay for these pay raises, as well as other ordered benefits, including raising the life insurance benefit from $50,000 to $100,000, expanding personal leave and post-retirement medical coverage.
Officers are also now allowed to live 20 miles away from the township center, as opposed to the previous 15 miles. In all, the arbitration agreement represents a near-total victory for the police union in that they received everything they asked for, including the annual base pay raises the township argued were untenable considering their current tax and financial situation. The arbitration finding is binding, however, and no appeal on any grounds is possible.