Old Lyme approves police union contract

Old Lyme — The town and the town’s police union have reached an agreement for a three-year police union contract, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder said.

The Board of Selectmen this week unanimously voted in favor of a contract that Reemsnyder said the union already approved. The agreement provides for general wage increases of 2.25 percent retroactive to July 1, 2017; another 2.25 percent increase on July 1, 2018; and a 2.5 percent increase on July 1, 2019.

The contract says employees will contribute to the cost of their medical benefits at the rate of 15 percent each year, according to Reemsnyder. If the town switches from a high-deductible plan to the Connecticut Partnership Plan, the rate would go up 16 percent for the first year and 17 percent the following year. Reemsnyder said the overall costs associated with that plan are lower, because the co-pays are less expensive and the plan doesn’t have a high deductible.

Police officers have worked out a schedule to more consistently have two officers on duty for each shift, she said, and that schedule will continue. There are much fewer shifts in which only one officer is on duty and no shifts in which three officers are on duty.

"I give them a lot of credit for being willing to adjust their schedules and make some changes to their individual schedules to accommodate that,” Reemsnyder said.

Other components of the contract include language that no bargaining-unit employee can take more than one week of paid vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, though exceptions can be granted in extraordinary circumstances; language for a wellness program; and raising the private duty rate to $65 per hour, which will go into effect as soon as reasonable, she said.

k.drelich@theday.com

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