News

Menlo Park, police reach tentative contract agreement

No pay increase, but a boost in health care benefits

A tentative agreement on a new labor contract has been reached between the city of Menlo Park and the Menlo Park Police Officers Association, representing 33 officers and four corporals.

Under the agreement, employees would not receive any pay increases until July 1, 2016, at which point raises would cover cost of living increases measured by the Consumer Price Index and would be capped at 3 percent.

According to Dave Bertini, interim human resources director, more substantial raises were not negotiated because the salaries are already above the median as compared to police departments in other "competitor" cities.

The proposed agreement, reached after 12 bargaining sessions, requires approval by the Menlo Park City Council before it takes effects. The council is expected to take up the proposal on Jan. 26.

Under the new agreement, detectives, who normally work regular business hours, would begin a weeknight on-call shift schedule. For each week of on-call time, detectives would receive six hours of their normal pay.

The city would increase its detective standby or "on-call" coverage to 365 days a year, up from 260 days. Currently, the only time a detective is on-call is on the weekend, so if a major crime happens off-hours during a weekday, calls go out to all detectives to see who is available. If there is no detective available, then the Detective Sergeant must respond, said Mr. Bertini. He said the new policy would clarify which detectives are on call at what times.

Patrol time would also go up to 2,184 hours per year, from 2,080, Mr. Bertini reported. Patrol officers would revert to a more consistent 12-hour shift schedule.

The city would agree to increase its health benefits contribution by about 24 percent for each employee. For employees with two or more dependents, the city would pay $2,086 per month, up from $1,681.50; employees with one dependent would receive $1,605 per month, up from $1,296.00; single employees would receive $803 per month, up from $648.26; and employees with no coverage would receive $349 per month, up from $154.68.

Those amounts would increase in 2017 to $2,128, $1,647, $845 and $391 per month, for employees in the above categories, respectively.

Menlo Park would also cover officers' vision insurance beginning in 2017, the report said.

If the agreement is approved by the council on Jan. 26, it would last from Jan. 27 through June 30, 2017, and would cost the city between $250,800 and $434,000 total during that time, according to the report.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that crimes committed off-hours on weekdays wait until the following day to be addressed by a detective.

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