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Lower Merion, Police Agree to 4-Year Contract

Officers are set to receive annual raises of 3.5 percent or more.

Lower Merion officials announced Tuesday that the township and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 28 had reached a tentative contract agreement for the 128 members of the Lower Merion Police Department.

The department's current three-year contract expires at the end of 2012. If the tentative agreement is approved Dec. 19 by the township Board of Commissioners, a new contract will extend through 2016, officials said.

The deal would raise salaries 3.5 percent in each of the next three years, then provide raises of 2 percent in January 2016 and 1.75 percent in July 2016.

Other elements of the contract, according to the township, include:

  • $50 increase in annual uniform cleaning allowance in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Improvement in pension service increment for the officers, accompanied by additional employee pension contribution requirements
  • Improvement in vision, dental and life insurance for the officers
  • Cost containment and savings for healthcare insurance for active officers and future retirees

Said FOP president Gavin Goschinski:

"I believe the contract is fair and represents a thoughtful and pragmatic bargaining effort. (Lower Merion Township) should be commended for negotiating in good faith throughout the process."

Township manager Doug Cleland:

"The Township is pleased to have been able to arrive at a multi-year labor agreement with our excellent police force. I believe the tentative agreement is both fair to our police officers as well as to the citizens of Lower Merion, and allows us to avoid the unknown of binding contract arbitration."

BOC President Liz Rogan:

"The proposed contract is competitive with recent labor agreements and arbitration awards for other area Police Departments and it will add net additional cost to the Township of approximately $3.5 million over the 4 year period. The Agreement is a product of the hard work and professionalism of our Police and Management employees. Their mutual, interest-based negotiating style well represented the members of F.O.P. Lodge 28 and the Township."

What do you think of the new police contract? Tell us in the comments.

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