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POLC unites Livingston Sergeants pay scales, advancing wages, benefits

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: July 23, 2020

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Parity and unity were the themes of Livingston County Sergeants first contract with POLC representation.

The group of Corrections Sergeants and Road Patrol Sergeants used to be under one wage scale, but the County had separated the two groups in their previous contract through Michigan Association of Police.

They joined the POLC in October 2019 and when their contract expired in December, the POLC brought the 17 Sergeants back together under one wage scale with 1.5% increases for the next three years.

“When we took over we were able to get the wage scale merged back together … ultimately getting Corrections more of a wage increase,” said POLC Labor Rep. Jim Stachowski.

“(Reuniting) was one of the dream things on our wish list that none of us expected to accomplish,” said Local Union Vice President Gary Childers. “That was very divisive because the unit wasn’t just spilt financially, it was spilt attitudes.”

“Our Sheriff and Undersheriff always supported us being on the same pay scale,” Childers said. “The County administration split us financially. We had an arbitrator for 312 and the fact finder said we should get the same things and the County went against the fact finder decision to split us in the first place.”

The POLC negotiated an even higher boost in pay when they raised the Sergeants’ top wage from $72,193 to $73,350, which amounts to a 1.6% raise. “It was kind of a hidden way to get them a two percent raise for each of three years,” Stachowski said.

Childers said the group was pleased to receive fair pay increases without giving up major concessions. “We went backwards so many years on benefits,” Childers said. “It was nice to make a contract without losing anything beyond (elective) abortion coverage.”

The primary reason for the switch to POLC was access to POLC attorneys and Financial Analyst Nancy Ciccone. “We’ve seen her work with our deputies before,” Childers said. ”They contracted Nancy to work on the side to do financials for their past contract.”

“In this contract, we had issues with the notice for opt out of Right to Work and the new drug policy,” Childers said. “POLC had attorneys look at the language on both of those issues and that was something that was very valuable to us. It was way outside of our expertise.”

Other increases included 12 more hours of Personal Leave, 12 more hours of Sick Leave and full equipment allowance. The former $200 boot allowance was increased to a $400 supplemental equipment allowance since the County already provides uniforms.

“The shift premium increased 35 cents per hour from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.” Stachowski added.

“It’s definitely fair and true to say that things went more smoothly with Jim compared to our last business agent,” Childers said. “Jim just did a great job for us. We’re really happy.”

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