Havre Daily News
The city of Havre has hammered out a proposal for police union representatives to take back to the full union for a vote.
The two-year contract proposed by the Havre City Council's Labor Relations Committee includes a 3 percent raise each year.
Montana Public Employees Association field representative Tom Bivins said after Thursday night's negotiation session that he didn't know if union members would be willing to agree to that raise after not receiving one the year before.
"I'm not real excited about it, but I realize where the city is at, too," Bivins said.
The proposal also includes a new provision for comp time. Havre police officers are given 100 hours of comp time at the start of the year in exchange for working some holidays. Under the new proposal, personnel will be able to cash out their remaining comp time at the end of the year.
In addition, officers who actually work on a holiday will receive a half-day's pay.
The proposal includes a $25 increase in clothing allowance for new officers.
The proposal also includes an agreement to try out a new work schedule that would eliminate 10-hour shifts and simplify the shift plan. That agreement, along with a yet-to-be determined health insurance provision, would be the only portions of the proposed contract that are automatically reopened at the end of the first contract year.
An insurance committee made up of union and nonunion city employees will meet Tuesday to discuss the insurance situation. City employees are looking at a 15 percent increase in premiums if coverage for employees remains unchanged.
Labor Relations Committee chair Terry Schend said the city will consider increasing property tax to cover a 10 percent insurance premium increase if employees are willing to accept higher deductibles and copayments, which would lower the increase in premiums.