New contract approved for Rockford staff, police

Two city employee contracts were approved Monday, July 20, by the Rockford City Council, covering employees of the police department and public works.

Both groups will receive two percent raises for each of the first two years of the contract. The police department union will also receive a two percent raise for the third and final year of the contract. Although their contract is also for three years, public works employees opted to revisit and renegotiate the wage issue after two years.

Rockford currently has seven full-time police officers who earn between $42,000 and $51,100 annually, depending on their length of service. Most have been with the city three years or more, putting them in the top wages category. Officers’ annual earnings will rise to between $42,500 and $53,200 by the end of the three-year contract.

The police department also employs four reserve police officers working less than full time. Reserve officers currently earn between $14.50 and $16.80 per hour. Under the new contract, those hourly wages will rise to between $15.15 and $17.47 per hour by the third year. Reserve officers hit the top of the pay scale after they’ve been with the city for two years.

Salaries for Police Chief Dave Jones, Lieutenant Scott Mazur and Sergeant Mike Miller are not covered under the union contract.

Water plant and other City laborers currently earn $30,300 annually to start and up to $39,800 for those with at least four years of service. Under the new contract, annual earnings will rise to between $30,970 and $40,600 at the end of two years, at which time wages will be renegotiated.

Salaries for Department of Public Works Director Mike Bouwkamp, Supervisor Jamie Davies, and Foreman Phil Vincent are not covered under the union contract.

The new contracts also addressed health insurance. Currently, full-time officers and public works employees contribute five percent to health insurance premiums. Under the new contract, that percentage will rise to six percent in 2010, seven percent in 2011, and eight percent in 2012.

City Manager Michael Young acted on behalf of the city in the union negotiations, which began early in 2009.

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