After 10 bargaining sessions and two meetings with a state mediator, the Menlo Park Police Officers Association and the city have negotiated a new two-year labor contract.
The agreement includes increases in wages and health insurance coverage for the 37 officers represented by the association.
Both issues proved difficult during negotiations, and a state mediator was “instrumental” in getting the two sides to reach an agreement, said Glen Kramer, the city’s personnel director.
The new agreement will boost the average line officer’s monthly salary from about $6,572 to about $6,835 — a 4 percent increase. The figure doesn’t include benefits.
The new rate puts Menlo Park’s officers at “pretty much average” pay compared with nearby cities, Mr. Kramer said.
“We feel the needs of the employees have been met, and we’ve stayed within the cost constraints of the city,” Mr. Kramer said.
The agreement also calls for the city to pay about 12 percent more of officers’ health insurance costs.
For example, the city currently provides about $988 per month for costs associated with a family health insurance plan, and the contract calls for that figure to increase to about $1,106.
Officers will continue to receive the state’s top pension rate, Mr. Kramer said. At age 50 they can retire and receive 90 percent of their highest annual salary if they have worked 30 years or more as an officer.
“We can certainly live with this agreement,” said John Noble, a labor relations consultant representing the police officers association from the Pleasant Hill-based law firm of Rains, Lucia and Wilkinson.
The agreement was reached July 17, about a month after both parties declared impasse and called in a state mediator.
The City Council is scheduled to consider the agreement at its meeting Tuesday, July 25. If approved by the council, the salary increases will be retroactive to July 1.
The council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, between Laurel and Alma streets.