After years of negotiating and two years without a contract, New Haven police officers have voted in favor of a new deal.
“We brought back the best package that we feel we could right now. That's what the membership asked for and that's what we're voting on today,” New Haven Police Union President Louis Cavaliere said.
But not everyone is happy with the agreement.
On Wednesday afternoon, the New Haven firefighters union took a stand and say it's a bad deal that will set a bad precedent.
“This goes well beyond an honest correction based off economic factors. There was another robbery added to New Haven's crime statistics if this passes today. These cops deserve better,” Frank Ricci, vice president of the New Haven Firefighters Union, said.
The fire union said the contract would cut too many benefits and create a tier system where new officers don't get the same benefits as veterans.
“They're pitting the old guys against the young guys. These new police officers will never be able to retire. They're taking them out of the middle class. It's a disgusting attempt to slash the benefits,” Jim Kottage, president of the New Haven Firefighters Union, said.
However, Cavaliere said the contract keeps 80 percent of existing benefits.
“We understand there's going to be a tier system and our question is, do you want us to break down a tier for you, or do you want an arbitrator to break down a tier?” he asked.
He also said this contract is a better solution than leaving it up to arbitration, which is what will happen if the contract isn't passed.
“The fire department should mind their business right now, because when we had 16 officers being laid off from this department, what did they do? They put on DeStefano shirts and endorsed him for governor and we were a little upset about that,” Cavaliere said.
The fire union doesn’t have a contract either and will be going through arbitration to settle the contract dispute with the City of New Haven.