Streetsboro -- The city has reached a 3-year collective bargaining agreement with the city's Fraternal Order of Police, which includes gradual increases in pay and the amount employees pay toward healthcare.
"The negotiations were amicable -- very much so," Mayor Glenn Broska said.
Streetsboro Police Detective Jim Wagner, the FOP union president, agreed.
"Both sides were happy with the contract," Wagner said. "We all recognize the [difficult financial] times we live in. We sat down with the city and were able to work out some things … We have a good relationship with the mayor and the city."
The agreement was unanimously approved Jan. 7 by City Council.
According to the terms of the agreement, the FOP members will receive 1 percent pay increases in 2013 and 2014 and a 2 percent pay increase in 2015, Broska said.
For health care payments, FOP members will contribute 11 percent in 2013, 13 percent in 2014 and 15 percent in 2015.
The contract runs from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015.
Broska said everyone involved in the police contract negotiations understood that the financial atmosphere in the country is not the greatest.
"Local government funding has been cut at the state level," Broska said. "We said, 'We would like to be able to offer you guys more.' Our employees understand that the financial package we offered was fair considering the times that we're going through now in this country. They knew they would be treated fairly."
Broska said the police union agreement was reached following three negotiating sessions.
"This is the first time I can recall that we haven't had to send a contract to arbitration," Broska said. "I'm proud of that. In the past, the city has sent the contracts to outside negotiations. This time, it didn't cost us anything on outside attorneys."
Broska estimated that the city saved more than $50,000 by not using outside attorneys.
"It was a significant cost savings to the city by having the negotiations done in-house," Broska said. "I think the unions prefer to negotiate with us instead of an outside attorney."
It is the second union contract approved in the past year. A contract between the city and the firefighters' union was approved by Council Feb. 13, 2012. It runs from Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2014. Broska said the terms of the firefighters' contract are the same as the police contract.