The Illinois FOP Labor Council

The Labor Council provides full union representation: negotiating and enforcing contracts, improving salaries, working conditions, and benefits for law enforcement professionals throughout Illinois. Our members are protected 24 hours a day by a staff of full-time, in-house attorneys and field representatives who have a proven track record of winning.

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By Doug Crawford, Field Representative - Friday, March 28, 2014

 

Protracted and contentious negotiations were the story in Centralia with the opening of the Agreement two years ago.  New City officials sought major concessions in many areas of the Agreement.  The City laid off two officers and one telecommunicator.  The Union held firm and after many months of negotiations, mediation and a scheduled arbitration date, numerous compromises were reached in the 11th hour.  A major issue was payment of insurance premiums.  The Agreement had provided a $50/month co-pay for the family plan, which was in place since 1988 and had never increased.  Single coverage was 100% paid by the Employer.  Hugely escalating premium costs brought insurance benefits to the forefront of discussion.  The Employer was seeking a far larger increase in employee/family contributions.  In the settlement, the parties agreed to a $50/month single premium co-pay and a $150/month co-pay for family coverage.  These increases took effect in October 2013.  In return, wages settled at 0% for 2012, except a 1% increase takes effect on 12/31/2012; 2% for 2013; 2% for 2014 and 3% for 2015. Shift bidding by seniority was gained for the first time.  The Union agreed to amending residency, dropping the residency limit to seven miles for new employees hired after November 2013.  This deal did not come easily and was the result of many meetings between the parties.  Chairman Steve Whritenour was particularly instrumental in achieving the deal.  Not only did he find a insurance alternative to the incumbent plan, which saved a considerable amount of premium dollars, he also played a significant role in brokering the final terms.  Bargaining Team members on behalf of the police officers unit were Mason Jackson, Shawn Richards, and Blake Dukes (who was laid off, but recalled by the settlement).  Bargaining Team members on behalf of the telecommunicators were Jason Herzing and Ross Boshera.  Assisting in the negotiations were Labor Council Field Representative Doug Crawford and Staff Attorney James Daniels.