Board shoots down police contract extension

FLINT TWP. – Something in a proposed four-year contract extension for the Command Officers of Michigan (COAM) police union apparently was not to the liking of the township board.

The board’s 5-2 decision rejecting a “memorandum of understanding” followed an hour-long meeting in closed session with its labor attorney, Helen “Lizzie” Mills. There was no discussion before the vote. The current two-year COAM contract expires at the end of 2018 and the proposed extension would have been until December 31, 2022.

Negotiating parties had met and agreed to extend the existing collective bargaining agreement with exceptions to insurance plans and salaries, according to documentation provided in the public information packet.

The insurance proposal was that, effective January 1, each full-time employee would have the option of choosing a Blue Cross PPO or HMO, unless covered by insurance from another employer. Both plans spelled out terms and deductibles for individual or family plans that would be funded by the township in a Health Reimbursement Account.

The proposed compensation packets detailed incremental wage increases for sergeants and lieutenants.

Proposed wages for sergeants included a base pay rate of $33.09 per hour, effective January 1 2019; increasing to $33.92 per hour, effective January 1, 2020, then going up to $34.77 per hour, Jan. 1, 2021 and $35.64 on January 1, 2022.

Proposed pay for lieutenants was an increase to $37.89 per hour, effective Jan. 1 2019; increasing to $38.84 per hour Jan. 1, 2020; then $39.81 per hour Jan. 1 2021 and $40,81 per hour, Jan. 1. 2022.

Earlier in the meeting, during discussion of the 2018 budget, Trustee Frank Kasle noted a significant cost in health care costs, which he attributed to an employee contribution of only five percent while state law allows 20 percent.

Public Act 152, in effect since January 2012, established a limit of 80 percent on the amount that public employers pay toward employee medical benefit plans. The law also provides an exemption option which allows a local unit of government, to opt out of requirements of the law by an annual twothirds vote.

Just prior to rejecting the COAM contract extension, the township board unanimously approved a resolution opting out of PA 152.

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