City, police union in Prairie du Chien consent to contract through 2016

By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Professional Police Association (WPPA/LEER Local #258) and the city of Prairie du Chien have consented to a new contract that is in effect through Dec. 31, 2016. The police union and city council unanimously approved the contract on June 11 and June 18, respectively.
The new contract includes a wage increase as well as adjustments to the health insurance payment structure, shift schedules and shift premiums.
Police union employees received a wage increase of 1 percent, effective upon their first pay period after the council ratified the contract on June 18. Also, on Jan. 1, 2014, all police personnel who were on the payroll in 2012 will be paid a $1,500 cash bonus. This is to accommodate for the wage freeze in 2011 and 2012.
Subsequently, the contract allows for additional wage increases of 1 percent, in both 2015 and 2016.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, members of the bargaining unit will start contributing a percentage of their total premium, rather than the flat fee they paid previously. Before this contract, single employees paid $60 per month toward their health insurance and families paid $115 per month. As part of the new agreement, police personnel will pay 13 percent of their monthly premium for 2013. The rate for 2014 will be negotiated later this year.
“This means they will pay the same health insurance costs as all other city employees. It will be on percentage basis, across the board,” City Administrator Aaron Kramer said.
The work week portion of the contract contained several adjustments.
The former schedule was kept in effect, with patrol working six days on and three days off, eight and one-half hour days, 40 hours per week. The DARE officer’s schedule is at the discretion of the police chief. Otherwise, standard shift schedules for the police officers are: 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 1 to 9:30 p.m., and 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
A 7 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. power shift will no longer be staffed year-round, but only Fridays and Saturdays, from June 1 to Aug. 31. For the remainder of the year, officers will be split among the other three shifts. The city also has the right to use part-time officers for compensatory time, parades, sick leave and foot patrols.
A shift premium of $.15 per hour was previously paid to officers staffing the 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. shift. Under the new contract, a premium of $.10 per hour will be paid for the 1 to 9:30 p.m. shift as well. Also new in the contract, a field training officer (FTO) premium of $.25 per hour will be paid to all certified FTOs for the hours they’re actively engaged in FTO duty.
Items in the contract that remain unchanged include:
• A uniform allowance of $870 per year, through 2016.
• Holiday pay for the employee’s birthday, as well as nine other national holidays.

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