West York Police officers have a new contract after the department's union publicly presented a three-year contract to the council during a meeting Monday night.
The contract calls for a 2 percent raise over the next three years.
Officers and the chief, who is a member of the union, will not receive pay increases in 2014 but will receive 1 percent raises in 2015 and 2016.
"The best way to help the residents who helped us out by standing up for us was to offer no raises in 2014 to help avoid a tax increase," said Scott Musselman, a police officer and a union steward.
The new contract comes two weeks after the council voted to shred unopened proposals from the Northern York County Regional Police and York City Police departments to provide police service to the borough. Council members voted to request the proposals a little over a month ago but residents turned out in strength to voice support for the borough department.
Vote: Council members Brian Wilson, Shelly Metzler, Annette "Chickie" Christine and Dawn Shue voted in favor of the contract.
Shue, who previously said she's in the process of moving to West Virginia but maintains a house in the borough, was not at the meeting but voted by phone. She was kept on the line the entire meeting and weighed in during parts of it.
Council president Steve Herman and vice president Shane Louthian voted against. Councilwoman Nancy Laird was not present at the meeting.
After the vote, Dave Kahley, a police officer and a union steward, approached the council table to have Herman sign the contact.
The vote came after the council recessed for roughly half an hour so Herman could consult the solicitor, who was not present at the meeting and was reached by phone.
Contract: During his presentation to council members, Kahley said the contract will cost the borough less than what the York City and Northern York County Regional Police departments proposed.
According to a copy of the Northern York County Regional Police Department proposal obtained from the department through a Right to Know request, the borough would have charged the borough $1.04 million for service in 2014.
A copy of the York City Police Department's proposal says its service to West York would have cost $1.3 million in 2014.
For 2013, West York budgeted $1.4 million for its police department but Kahley and Musselman said that number is deceiving.
Roughly $200,000 of that sum is for pensions, a cost the borough would have to pay even if it didn't have its own police department.
The borough department is expected to cost West York $1.285 million in 2014, $1.294 in 2015 and $1.332 in 2016, Kahley said.
Those costs could decrease by $18,000 a year if the borough hires two additional police officers. The savings would be from decreased overtime costs.
All told, the department employs 11 officers, including its chief and two part-time officers.
Concerns: After calling the meeting back to order, Herman said the solicitor advised that voting on the contract without it being reviewed by an attorney hired to represent the borough during negotiations would be irresponsible. He added there was no opportunity for either side to negotiate.
Wilson said that by voting on the contract without attorneys getting involved will save the borough money in the long run.
Louthian said it would be best to wait until both sides go over all the details before rushing to vote on the contract.
However, Mario Eckert, representative for West York Police officers' union and business agent for Teamsters Local 776, said the language in the new contract is the same as that in the current one.
The 1 percent raises in 2015 and 2016 are below the cost of living increase of 1.7 percent in 2013, he said.
"This is a fire sale for the police department," Eckert said.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.