Syracuse’s 428 police officers are working under a new contract for the first time in more than three years. Common councilors Monday gave their approval to the five year agreement retroactive to 2011. Police Benevolent Association President Jeffrey Piedmonte says both city and union negotiators put a lot of work into the talks, which culminated in a agreement in mid-June. He says health insurance was a key sticking point…the deal calls for officer contributions to more than double starting in September. Officers will pay $65 per month for individual coverage, up from $30; rates for family coverage will jump from $60 to $130 per month. Those officer health care contributions will almost double again next July. He says staffing levels might be a concern.
But Piedmonte says both sides feel the agreement is fair considering the pressures on officers and the city's tight finances. He says it took about a year to negotiate the deal, which also includes 2% pay raises for each of the final three years of the contract.