(JARED ARNOLD/Chewelah Independent)
NEW AGREEMENT: Agreement guarantees three percent annual raises…
A new police union contract will cost the city approximately an additional $15,000 per year after the Chewelah city council signed off on the new agreement at their regular meeting last Wednesday evening, February 5.
The new three-year agreement between the city and Teamsters Local Union No. 690 will be effective from the beginning of this year through the end of 2022 and will give police department employees a three percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to their base wage each year. The city expects the COLA to cost an additional $10,300 in the first year.
The police department employs one secretary, one sergeant and three patrolman. The 2020 base monthly wage for the secretary is $3,994.68; sergeant is $5,685.67; and a patrolman earns between $4,154.47 and $5,256.73, depending on how long they have been with the department. The chief of police is not covered under this contract.
The wage increase will also impact holiday pay expenses by approximately $2,850 in the first year. Police employees receive ten legal and two floating paid holidays per year. Employees who work on holidays are paid-one-and-one-half times their regular pay rate.
The shift differential premium will increase from 75 cents to one dollar per hour for time worked on a shift other than day shift. The increase is expected to cost the city about $1,150 per year.
Other new costs associated with the updated contract include an additional new jumpsuit each year for K9 officers (approximately $500) and employees will be paid three hours minimum (up from two) for time spent in court.
The contract also sets new rules for minimum rest periods and take-home vehicles, but other provisions are largely unchanged from the previous contract.
The Chewelah City Council’s next regular meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, February 19 and Wednesday, March 4, starting at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.