Havre Daily News
Havre police officers will meet with their union representative this week to discuss a proposed labor contract, one they recently voted down.
Montana Public Employees Association representative Tom Bivins said Friday that the union's next move is unclear.
“We're either going to have to vote again or go back to the table,” Bivins said. He said he wants to speak with the officers to find out why the vote failed.
“I have no immediate plans to go back to the table,” Bivins added. “We're not to that point yet.”
He declined to say how many votes were needed to approve the contract.
The vote marks the second time the officers have turned down a contract in the last three months. Police representatives and city labor negotiators have been meeting since March, and the officers' old contract expired June 30.
Officers turned down an agreement that was reached by Bivins and other union negotiators and members of the Havre City Council's Labor Relations Committee on Nov. 16. The two-year contract would have given Havre police a 3 percent raise this year, retroactive to July 1, and a 3.5 percent raise next year.
The city and union were also able to agree on holiday compensation, an issue that has proved contentious throughout the negotiations.
For years, the city has given officers 96 hours in banked compensatory time at the beginning of each year in lieu of cash payment for holidays. Officers had to take that time off before the year's end or risk losing it.
The city agreed to a union proposal that eliminated the deadline and upped the comp time to 100 hours.
Union members and city negotiators also agreed on a tentative schedule that would eliminate 10-hour shifts and add flexibility.