Arlington Heights approves new fire, police contracts
Arlington Heights approved new three-year contracts with its fire and police unions on Monday night that include salary raises but also higher contributions from employees to their insurance premiums.
Members of both the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, Arlington Heights Police Chapter No. 510, and the Arlington Heights Firefighters Association, Local No. 3105, had already ratified the new contracts before the village board voted to unanimously approve them at its Monday meeting.
The previous contracts expired at the end of April.
Police union officials reached the agreement after three bargaining sessions, while for the firefighter union it took six.
Both new contracts expire on April 30, 2017, and were reached through the interest-based bargaining process, officials said.
"Both parties bring issues to the table, and we brainstorm answers," said Todd Radek, police union president, explained. "It was a fair agreement all the way around."
Member of both unions will receive 2.5 percent salary increases on May 1, 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to the contract.
Police officers will also receive additional holiday pay for one more holiday this year, bringing the total to seven.
Beginning May 1, 2015, members of both unions will pay 12 percent of their insurance premium contribution, an increase from the 10 percent they currently pay, according to the contract details.
Police officers will also receive an increase in their equipment allowance from $200 to $300, while firefighters will receive an increase in their uniform allowance from $150 to $300.
Presidents of both unions said the negotiations were not contentious.
"The relationship we've built with the village has made this process very smooth," said Ron Fraider, president of the firefighters union. Fraider said it was his first contract negotiation as president.
It was also the first negotiation round for newly sworn in Fire Chief Ken Koeppen.
Village Mayor Tom Hayes told representatives of both unions how much they are appreciated in the village for "helping us fulfill our obligations to the health, safety and welfare of our community."