Green Bay Police Union Entering Arbitration with City
The Police Union of Green Bay, Wisconsin, met together with the City of Green Bay and an arbitrator this recently to hear a decision regarding the new police contract that will be available. After the contract expired over a year ago, both sides have failed to reach an agreement for a new contract through negotiations. The City of Green Bay is seeking a four-year contract but the Police Union only wants a two-year one due to uncertainties in the economy.
According to local economist, David Ward, "What the city is trying to do is try lock in its costs. The union is trying to avoid risk of higher inflation which they can't anticipate between 2014-2015. I've been advising to keep the contract short.”
Also on the table are pay raises that the union has been requesting for its officers for the purpose of offsetting pension costs that are increasing. The union has already agreed to pay 6.65% into the retirement system, but that is only if the wage increases go into effect immediately for the 2013-2014 year ahead. The City of Green Bay, however, does not want to offer these wage increases until 2014.
Lynn Boland, the human resources director for the City of Green Bay, says, “In looking at our final offer, we were very conscious of what had occurred with our firefighters and our general municipal employees. Everyone had given the pension contributions voluntarily in January of 2012, and did not receive a wage increase until 15 months later.”
However, according to the attorney for the Police Union, Jon Cermele, that money does not go into the pockets of the men and women who serve on the police force. Rather, it goes into pension payments.