Collier Township Settles Contract with Police Officers

Collier Township is avoiding arbitration and has agreed to a 3-year contract renewal with its 14 police officers.

Collier Township has agreed to a 3-year contract renewal with its police officers.

The agreement approved by the township commissioners Wednesdsay night calls for slight pay raises over the next three years and significant savings on health care costs.

“This is fairly significant for us,” township Manager Sal Sirabella said. “We’ve been working on it for over a year.”

Sirabella said the township has been working with the police association since November 2011 to find a deal that was “fair and adequate” for both sides. He added that it was very significant that the two sides avoided arbitration, which can be costly and lengthy.

“It’s not what you want to do,” he said. “Things get very complicated when you’re dealing with an arbitrator.”

The deal calls for 3.25 percent pay raises next year and 2014, with a 4 percent increase in 2015. The police officers will also now be permitted to live an hour away from the township instead of 30 minutes as the previous contract stated.

The change in insurance plans will save the township about $111,000 per year during the life of the contract, Sirabella said.

Sgt. Eric Davis and officers J.P. Duckworth and Steve Oberle led the negotiations for the police association. There are 14 full-time police officers in Collier Township.

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