In a nod to the dire economic straits Hampshire is facing, its patrol officers have agreed to a contract that includes modest raises but forces some to pay more into their health care plans.
The Hampshire village board ratified the 3-year contract Thursday night -- the previous one expired April 30 of this year. Under the deal, the seven officers it covers will receive a 2.5-percent pay bump retroactive to May 1; a 1-percent pay increase on May 1, 2013; a 1.5-percent increase on both Nov. 1, 2013, and May 1, 2014, and a 1.25-percent raise effective Nov. 1, 2014.
"We split it up so that there's less impact on the fiscal year," Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said.
A first-year officer who was hired at $46,566 will make $47,730 the first year of the contract, $48,930 the second year and $50,285 the final year.
The three-year cost of the salary adjustments will be approximately $29,000, Maxeiner said.
As well, the four officers enrolled in the PPO health care plan will be paying more of their premium costs.
They were previously paying 5 percent for single coverage, but next year they'll pay 7.5 percent; 10 percent the following year.
Coverage for dependents on the PPO plan also went up. Instead of paying 15 percent, officers will pay 20 percent in the second and third years of the contract.
"I think that's indicative of the economy and lack of funds from the village to be able to pay them any more," Maxeiner said.
But as an added benefit, if officers use four sick days or fewer in a year, they're allowed to convert one into a personal day.
Officer Ryan Edwardson was one of two police officers active in the contract negotiations, which lasted two months.
He said Hampshire's contract is truly representative of the times.
"Considering the economic times and our contract based on comparison contracts, I think we got a very fair deal," Edwardson said, adding that the union compared its police contract with others in Gilberts and Marengo.