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CITY OF HARTFORD ANNOUNCES NEW POLICE UNION CONTRACT WITH $2 MILLION IN SHORT TERM SAVINGS, LONG TERM STRUCTURAL CHANGES

CITY OF HARTFORD ANNOUNCES NEW POLICE UNION CONTRACT WITH $2 MILLION IN SHORT TERM SAVINGS, LONG TERM STRUCTURAL CHANGES

HARTFORD, CONN (December 12, 2017) –  Today, Mayor Luke Bronin announced the City of Hartford has entered into a new contract with the Hartford Police Union (HPU).  Last night, the City Council unanimously approved a Tentative Agreement, following ratification of the contract by the membership of the HPU last Friday, December 8th, 2017.  This contract will save the City nearly $2 million in the current fiscal year, more than $3.6 million next year, and approximately $4 million per year by Fiscal Year 2020, for a total of more than $17 million over the life of the contract.  The contract also makes structural changes to reduce long-term liabilities, including significant increases in employee pension and healthcare contributions and significant changes to pension and healthcare benefits.

“This agreement with the Hartford Police Union is the result of long, tough negotiations, and represents another big step toward our goal of fiscal stability for our Capital City,” said Mayor Bronin.  “I want to thank Hartford Police Union President Sergeant Szewczyk, Vice President Officer Sherbo, and the Executive Committee for their leadership and partnership.  The outstanding members of the Hartford Police Department put themselves at risk every day to keep our city safe, and I am grateful to them for ratifying a contract that not only provides millions of dollars of immediate savings, but also makes significant long-term structural reforms to healthcare, pension contributions, and long-term pension benefits.

“I am grateful to leadership of the Hartford Police Union as well as the members of the Hartford Police Department for agreeing to this fair contract,” said Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II.  “Last night the City Council unanimously approved the contract, and I believe this represents another significant step forward in our mission to put our City on a stable long-term path.”

The term of the contract is July 1, 2016 and through June 30, 2022.  The contract provides for zero general wage increases for the first four fiscal years of the contract term.  Pension contributions will increase by 3% of payroll for all employees immediately, and healthcare contributions will increase by approximately 50% over the course of the contract.  Health insurance benefits will shift from a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan to a high deductible health care plan with a health savings account.

For new hires, the contract caps pension payments at 70% of base pay, a significant change from current pensions, and eliminates City-funded retiree health insurance.

There are structural changes to sick leave accrual and payout, both for current members and new hires.  Current members will have a lower cap on maximum accrual and payout at time of retirement.  New hires would have a maximum sick leave accrual of 80 days, and would not receive any payout of accrued sick leave.

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