Wauconda cops to get raises but will pay more for health insurance
Wauconda's police officers will receive annual pay raises ranging from 2 percent to 2.75 percent as part of a new, four-year labor contract.
The town's 17 officers also will pay a greater portion of their medical and dental insurance premiums, starting immediately, officials revealed.
The village board approved the deal with the Fraternal Order of Police union Tuesday.
Officers had been working without a contract since May 2015. The new pact came after multiple negotiation meetings, arbitration and sessions with a mediator, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said.
The contract calls for a 2.75 percent pay raise for hours worked during the 2016 fiscal year, which ended April 30. It's retroactive for hours worked, Maxeiner said.
A 2 percent raise was approved for the current fiscal year. It will result in extra pay for hours already worked since May 1, he said.
Officers will receive a 2 percent pay raise in the 2018 fiscal year and a 2.5 percent raise the following year.
Under the deal, starting base salary for a police officer increases from $61,314 annually to $64,260 immediately.
The officers' health insurance premiums are rising, too. Patrol officers had been paying 10 percent of their medical and dental premiums.
Officers enrolled in the department's Health Maintenance Organization plan will pay 12.5 percent of their premiums in the 2018 fiscal year and 15 percent the following year. Officers enrolled in the department's Preferred Provider Organization plan will pay 13.5 percent of their premiums in the 2018 fiscal year and 17.5 percent the following year.
During the four-year contract, the pay raises are expected to cost the village an additional $138,000, Maxeiner said. But the insurance concessions will save the village about $24,000 during the same period, he said, reducing the net increase to about $114,000.
"We wanted to gain concessions on benefits and keep wage adjustments to a sustainable level," Maxeiner said.
The contract also calls for a change to shift schedules.
Instead of working five consecutive days followed by two- or three-day breaks, all officers will work five days straight, then get three days off. Additionally, a single shift will last nine hours rather than 8.25 hours.
The department has been testing that schedule this year and it seems to work, Maxeiner said.
"The patrol officers and sergeants liked it and the chief has been able to curtail some overtime with this schedule," he said.
A union representative couldn't be reached for comment.