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Flat Rock Patrol pleased with first POLC contract

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: January 10, 2018

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Flat Rock Patrol joined the POLC in 2017 because they were looking to improve their retirement benefits and step increases. Not only did they get both, the POLC negotiated other contract enhancements and settled quickly.

“I had four meetings — I already settled their contract,” said POLC Labor Rep. Chet Kulesza.

The former Michigan Association of Police (MAP) represented 12-member group received improved step increases as well as wage increases of 2 percent per year in their two-year agreement. Kulesza said the way the steps were set up previously Employees received most of their step increases in the fourth year of employment.

“It used to be a little bit of money (in the first year) and after four years they got the total amount,” Kulesza said. “We got them to do steps and that was a big deal for them. Now, they get half the money on year two and the rest of the money on year four.”

Retirement benefits improved, although not the way they had planned. “They were looking to change their pension, but it couldn’t be done,” Kulesza said. “The retirees’ (pension) plan was only 49 percent funded and they’re at a 1.3 multiplier and nobody is at a 1.3 multiplier.”

“MERS said they can’t make changes because they’re only 49 percent funded. I argued that guys would leave to find another department with a better pension,” Kulesza said.

So to retain Employees, the City agreed to give them 457 savings accounts, in which the City matches up to 3 percent of what each Employee saves. “They’re giving them this to supplement (their pensions),” Kulesza said. “They also got an increase in the City’s contribution to the 401K. They raised it to 1.5 percent of their pay.”

One more fringe benefit for Flat Rock Patrol in their first POLC settled contract is better compensation for higher education. The City will provide up to $1,200 per year for tuition reimbursement, an increase of $200 per year.

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