The Springfield Police Officers Association has ratified a collective bargaining agreement with the city.
The contract was approved Monday with a “nearly unanimous result,” the union said in a statement. Springfield City Council can vote on whether to accept the agreement at its Tuesday lunch meeting.
“This represents a historic moment in labor contracts for Public Safety Employees,” the union said the statement. “We thank the members for their support.”
The city and the police union began collective bargaining in March of 2013. In September, the city and the union reached a tentative agreement on all articles of the collective bargaining agreement, except wages. In protest, members protested outside council meetings over the course of several months.
The issue went to an arbitration hearing in January, and the arbitrator issued a clarified recommendation on the wage issue on Tuesday. Council voted to accept that recommendation on Friday.
If approved by City Council, the agreement would go into effect immediately and run through June 30, 2017.
The city previously said that the arbitrator made the following general recommendations regarding police wages:
• Fiscal Year 15: A wage and benefit increase equivalent to an annualized 1.08 percent given to some union members effective April 1, 2015.
• Fiscal Year 16: Equivalent of a 3.5 percent increase used for adjusting some salary steps and 0.827 percent across-the-board increase. No merit steps will be funded for union members during Fiscal Year 16. Effective July 1, 2015.
• Fiscal Year 17: Equivalent of a 3.5 percent increase used to fund merit steps. The remaining funds will be used to fund an across-the-board increase to reach the 3.5 percent total increase.