Ansonia cops will get raises for the next two years under the terms of a recently approved police union contract.
The agreement — ratified by the police union and the city’s Aldermen last month — calls for annual pay raises of 2.5 percent this year and next year, and a 2.5 percent raise retroactive to last summer.
City officials say the new contract will actually save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars due mainly to a switch from a traditional health insurance plan to a high-deductible plan using health savings accounts.
The Board of Aldermen approved the contract at their Feb. 10 meeting unanimously without discussion.
Mayor David Cassetti said during the meeting that the contract represented a “major, major victory” for the city.
“The expectation each year is that the contracts only increase, that the best one could do it mitigate the damage,” Cassetti said. “Tonight, however, you have before you a tentative agreement that constitutes a substantial savings to the taxpayers.”
The mayor thanked the rank-and-file members of the police union for approving the agreement and Detective James Frolish, the union’s president, as well as Police Chief Kevin Hale and Lisa Grasso Egan, a lawyer who negotiated the contract on behalf of the city.
“They have truly stepped up,” Cassetti said.
The police department’s 45 officers had gone without a new contract since last summer.
Egan estimated the total savings to the city over the course of the contract will be $442,600.
Article continues after videos of Egan talking to Aldermen about the contract.
The contract calls for a 2.5 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2014, when the old contract expired, with further 2.5 percent raises to kick in July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016.
That will come at an increased cost of about $306,557, according to a summary of the contract provided by the city.
But those increases will be more than covered by changes to the health insurance plan offered to officers, which also detailed in the new contract.
The contract calls for a switch from a traditional health plan to a high-deductible plan which will save the city $547,758.
In addition, the department will make changes to its schedule that will mean officers work an average of six more days per year.
That will provide an additional $87,000 in savings, city officials say.
In addition, under the old contract, the city paid officers 100 percent of their accumulated sick pay if they leave the department.
The new contract calls for no sick pay to be paid out for officers leaving the department after up to five years on the force, 50 percent for those with five to 15 years, 75 percent for officers with 15 to 20 years, and 100 percent for those with 20 or more years of service.
The change will generate another $206,000 in savings, city officials project.
Mayor: Looking To Save On Other Contracts
In urging the Aldermen to approve the contract, the mayor said the city and the union worked cooperatively to arrive at a deal that benefits both.
“We are proving a point,” Cassetti told the Aldermen. “The city can work with our unions for the greater good of Ansonia.”
The mayor said Feb. 26 that he was happy the Aldermen approved the deal.
He said he hopes the agreement will set a tone for the city’s upcoming negotiations with the unions representing city hall employees and public works employees, which expire this year.
“I’m glad that it’s settled,” Cassetti said. “That’s going to help out with the next two contracts.”
Aldermanic President Phil Tripp thanked Egan at the Feb. 10 meeting at which the contract was approved.
“You’ve done a great service to the people of Ansonia,” he said.
The Valley Indy left a message for Frolish, the police union president, Feb. 24.