Wilmington appeals arbiter’s police raise ruling

Wilmington officials are asking state arbitrators to reconsider a decision that would require the city to give its police officers retroactive raises.

The city’s appeal will be considered at a hearing before the state Public Employment Relations Board on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m.

The attorney who has represented the city in the negations with the officer’s union did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

“In preparation for the upcoming proceedings, we are unable to provide specific comments,” said Alexandra Coppadge, spokeswoman for the city.

The board made public its arbitration decision last week, siding with the Fraternal Oder of Police in Wilmington. It said a proposal from officers that would give them a 3 percent pay raise over the last three years was fair.

The retroactive raises would cost the city approximately $2.29 million and increase wages by about $955,000 annually for the rank-and-file police officers.

The arbitrator’s decision also sends both the city and the FOP back to the bargaining table because the contract would already be expired. The term of the contract proposed by the board ran until June 30, 2015.

The proposal from the city would have extended the contract to June 30, 2016, and offers a two percent pay increase as well as a one-time $4,000 payment to each officer.

The city remains in contract negations with all public employee unions, which have been working without contracts since 2011. City officials declined to comment about the status of negotiations with other unions last week.

Contact Jenna Pizzi at jpizzi@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2837. Follow her on Twitter @JennaPizzi.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/10/20/wilmington-appeals-arbitrator-decision-granting-police-raises/74291940/