By Ross Markman
Tonight at 7 at City Hall, the Havre City Council finance committee will meet with representatives of the Havre Police Department to negotiate its union's new two-year contract.
The union's one-year contract expires on June 30.
Known as the Montana Public Employees Association, the union has offered the city several proposals for its employee salary increases.
The first option asks for a 6 percent pay raise for all union members, while the second calls for a 4 percent increase for all members with an optional $5,000, five-year retention bonus for employees currently classified as a senior patrol officer or less.
The third option proposed by the MPEA calls for a 3 percent salary increase for all employees, with an optional five-year retention bonus for employees classified as senior patrol officer or less. It also would change longevity increments for sergeants and lieutenants from one-half percent to 1 percent.
The fourth proposal by the police union asks for a 3 percent, across-the-board salary increase with an optional five-year retention bonus for employees classified as senior patrol officer or less, along with a $2,650 five-year retention bonus for employees classified as sergeant and lieutenant.
The MPEA has also requested that the city pay the full premium for medical insurance for single and two-party plans. The union has asked that the current $350 premium for officers with families be increased to reflect to any premium increase during the term of the contract.
Tonight, the finance committee is expected to propose a 3 percent salary increase for all police employees during the upcoming fiscal year, with a five-year retention bonus for those classified as senior patrol officer or less. The committee is also expected to offer a 3 percent, across-the-board increase with the same retention bonus for the second year of the contract.
The finance committee has yet to determine the terms of the union's health insurance.
The police contract is effective July 1 and will run to June 30, 2004. If the City Council does not approve the contract until later this year, the terms of the contract are retroactive to July 1, finance committee chairman Tom Farnham said.