After a year and a half without a contract, New Haven's finest could soon be seeing a new 5-year deal.
“Yesterday, the City and the Police Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement. It now has to go to the membership,” said New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.
The contract has been a hot button issue with New Haven's police officers and even led to some expedited retirements because of the threat of what could happen. The officers are worried about their wages, health care and pension. The City is worried about burdening the taxpayers with too large of a police budget.
“It's a fair contract in the sense that it preserves what's important to the union in terms of wages and benefits, and I think for us what it does it delivers to taxpayers an affordable agreement,” said Mayor DeStefano.
However, not all the rank and file believe it's fair, and they're worried about their livelihood.
Police Union President Lou Cavalier, Jr. says the contract keeps things pretty much status quo. It provides a nine percent wage increase over the entire contract, only a small increase in benefit payments and keeps a pension for veteran officers after 20 years on the force. New officers coming onto the job wouldn't see the same benefits, but would have that information ahead of time.
“This was, again, not everybody getting everything they wanted, choosing to compromise and choosing to the best of our availability to avoid going to a third party to settle it,” said Mayor DeStefano.
If the police officers approve the new deal, it has to be approved by the Board of Aldermen. The contract would run through 2016.