Aurora police, fire unions’ negotiations with city poised for arbitration

Aurora CO police patch

AURORA | More than a month after they started, contract negotiations between city leaders and the police and fire unions have reached an impasse.

The city and the unions started negotiations in late April and had 30 days to reach an agreement before heading to fact finding.

Those 30 days passed without an agreement between the city and either union.

Kim Stuart, a spokeswoman for the city, said that under the negotiation rules the two sides have to begin the fact-finding piece of arbitration, but they still have time to negotiate before actually going before formally starting arbitration.

At the start of negotiations Deputy City Manager Wolfe, one of the city’s negotiators, said that in 2014, while the two sides started looking into arbitration after 30 days, they kept negotiating and came to an agreement before arbitration.

The 2014 police contract included raises for almost all officers based on their rank. It didn’t include any wage freezes or pay cuts.

Both unions — the Aurora Police Association and the Aurora Firefighters Protective Association — declined to speak to the press while negotiations were ongoing, and the presidents of both groups did not return a call for comment Tuesday.

But before the negotiations started, APA President Sgt. Bob Wesner said the union is looking for pay raises that bring Aurora more in line with Denver, where officers make more and can reach the top level of pay several years sooner than in Aurora.

Wesner said he hopes the new contract puts the pay scale for Aurora officers in the top three or four in the area, and in the top one or two in terms of the entire benefit package.

This negotiation is Wesner’s first as APA president, but he said he has been involved in several previous negotiations, including as vice president in 2014.

http://www.aurorasentinel.com/news/aurora-police-fire-unions-negotiations-with-city-poised-for-arbitration/