Members of Evansville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 73 have voted to ratify a new three-year contract with the City of Evansville. The tentative agreement, if approved by Evansville City Council, would be effective January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.
FOP Lodge 73 President Larry Nelson said the tentative contract was “overwhelmingly approved” during voting that began Sunday and continued through Monday evening during roll calls at the Evansville Police Department headquarters and at the FOP lodge. Nelson commended Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and the negotiating teams for the City and FOP for reaching a quick settlement.
“Mayor Winnecke not only responded quickly to our request to begin negotiations but he started the talks before budget hearings began. This was unheard of in the past,” Nelson said. “He put together a team from the city that sat down and discussed the particulars of the contract in a professional manner, as did the FOP. With both sides working together and understanding the economic concerns facing Evansville, we were able to resolve our issues quickly. I appreciate the hard work of both the FOP and the city negotiating teams in what we believe to be a fair contract for the membership of the FOP and the citizens of Evansville.”
Assistant Police Chief Chris Pugh said both the FOP and city administration agreed from the beginning that negotiations did not have to be contentious. “During the entire process both sides were focused on reaching an agreement that benefited the FOP membership as well as the citizens of Evansville. With this three-year contract the men and women of the Evansville Police Department can focus solely on providing the finest law enforcement possible to the citizens we serve.”
The contract calls for a 3% wage increase the first year and 2% wage increases for 2014 and 2015, with no increase in health insurance premiums. There is a one-year extension that allows the contract to be opened for talks on wages, overtime and health insurance.
Mayor Winnecke said he is pleased negotiations went smoothly and a contract was settled quickly. “Both sides met in good faith to review all issues on the table to reach an agreement that FOP membership could support overwhelmingly and the city could afford,” Winnecke said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to praise the work of the men and women on the Evansville police force. Now they can focus on serving and protecting our citizens instead of worrying about their paycheck.”