Ferndale Police Union Agrees to Concessions

Ferndale Police Union Agrees to Concessions

(City of Ferndale Interim City Manager Mark Wollenwebber, 4/14/2011)

A three-year contract with the Ferndale Patrol Officers that calls for major concessions in health care and fringe benefits was ratified by the Ferndale City Council Wednesday evening.  “This is a significant agreement that will have a huge impact on our ability to keep officers on the street within the very difficult financial constraints faced by the City,” said Mayor Dave Coulter.

The City obtained significant changes in health insurance, prescription drug benefits, holiday pay, sick leave and other areas.  This agreement with the City’s Patrol Officers is critical to the City’s ability to continue to deliver Police Services to the public and is recognition of the sacrifices that the residents of the Community are facing and will continue to face.  It allows the City to focus on providing Police protection and saving jobs.

The Police Officers have been without a contract since June 30, 2009.  They will receive no pay increases.   They also receive layoff protection if the millage passes.  Union President Detective Brendan Moore said, “This was difficult to accept, but  we recognize the financial difficulties of the City and our goal was to protect jobs and police services for the residents of Ferndale.  Our hope is that this will help local residents look favorably on the May millage vote.”

The most important provisions of the new agreement make significant changes in healthcare and drug coverage with employees paying a significant portion of deductibles and co-pays out of their pocket.  “The City aimed for a benefit structure that increases deductibles and co-pays and provides incentives for employees to be better healthcare consumers.  That will save the City significant sums of money both in the short and long term and reduce our actual health,” said Interim City Manager Mark Wollenweber.

“This was a long, hard negotiation,” said Mayor Dave Coulter.  “It was difficult for the City to agree to no layoffs which the Union wanted, but the trade off to get major changes in health care and other areas are worth it.  This agreement is the result of compromise on the part of both parties.  In the end, we believe this contract is in the best interest of the Community and our dedicated Patrol Officers.  Our Police Officers recognized the interest of the Community, protecting jobs and services and for that, they deserve to be complimented.  The City acknowledges and appreciates the hard work and long hours put in by the Union’s bargaining team.

‘These are difficult times for the City.  These changes, made possible by the cooperation of our Police Officers, are critical for the financial stability of Ferndale going forward.  Just as important, if the millage passes on May 3rd, this agreement offers the best level of service for our residents by ensuring we won’t reduce staffing levels further.”

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