Paxton aldermen approve contract with police labor union

PAXTON — The Paxton City Council has approved a three-year collective-bargaining agreement with the labor union representing the city’s five full-time, unionized police officers.

Following a closed session Tuesday night, the city council voted 6-1, with Alderman Rob Pacey in dissent and Alderman Linda Glad absent, to approve the contract, which was earlier ratified by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council.

The contract covers the employment of Sgt. Robert Yates, K-9 officer Tom Sink and officers Stewart Stafford, Brandon Ryan and Peter Nicolini.

Not covered is the employment of Capt. Chad Johnson and Police Chief Coy Cornett.

The contract — which runs from May 1, 2018, through April 30, 2021 — sets a base hourly wage of $21.71 per hour, retroactive to May 1, for full-time officers who have completed a one-year probationary period. The hourly wage rises to $22.36 on May 1, 2019, then increases to $23.03 on May 1, 2020.

In addition to the regular hourly wage, the sergeant receives an extra 60 cents per hour, while the officer appointed as juvenile officer gets 40 cents more and an officer appointed as an investigator gets an additional 40 cents per hour.

Also, each officer who has completed his probationary period and has completed Basic Law Enforcement Officer training gets an additional $1 per hour above his base pay.

Longevity pay also raises the base salaries of officers by 1 percent every two years they are employed by the city.

Each officer also has the choice of receiving overtime pay or compensatory time off for any hours worked above 40 hours per week.

Officers get 10 paid holidays: New Year’s Day, the Friday before Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and the employee’s birthday. If an officer works on a holiday, he receives 2 1/2 times his normal rate of pay that day.

Vacation time is provided after one year of employment. The amount of vacation time is one week after completion of a year of employment, two weeks after two years of employment, three weeks after 10 years of employment and four weeks after 15 years.

The city will provide a $20,000 term life insurance policy to each officer and pay all the premium charge for the coverage. Also, the city will make available to officers’ dependants a $1,000 term life insurance policy, with the employee paying all of the cost of that policy.

A health care insurance program is also made available to each officer, with the city being required to deposit $3,000 into each officer’s Qualified Health Savings Account within the first 30 days of his employment, as well as $3,000 each year they remain employed in both 2019 and 2020.

The city will provide each officer upon their hiring with a cell phone for use during their official duties, as well as required uniforms and equipment, including ballistic protection vests. Also, each year, the city must provide each officer with a $400 equipment allowance for footwear and equipment.

As a condition of continued employment, officers must reside within 6 miles of City Hall in downtown Paxton.

No police vehicles, except for the K-9 vehicle, may be stored while not in use outside of city limits. Any police vehicle normally used by an officer who does not live within the city limits must be stored when not in use at the police department headquarters on North Railroad Avenue.

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