SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Waterford Township and its Unions are ahead of the curve when it comes to contract concessions according to Robert J. Seeterlin, Director of Fiscal and Human Resources.
The Michigan Association of Police (MAP), the Union representing the Waterford Twp Police Fire Dispatchers Association and the Waterford Twp Police Officers Association, is announcing that both units have agreed to several economic concessions in their respective collective bargaining agreements.
What is especially significant is that both MAP units had existing labor agreements that were not set to expire. The members were well within their rights to refuse to discuss any concessions.
"The public supported us last November by passing the Headlee Override for the public safety millage," said Officer Chris Fritz President of the Waterford Twp Police Officers Association. "We wanted to demonstrate that our members support this community as well."
Township Supervisor Carl Solden stated, "We truly appreciate the effort on the part of our Union members to allow us to keep police on the streets protecting the community. We have already been forced to reduce police staffing below where we would like to be. All efforts to work more effectively at lower cost are appreciated."
Concessions made by the police officers were in the area of schedule changes from a ten-hour shift to an eight-hour shift. This change helped cut the Employer costs in holiday pay and overtime. Additional economic cuts came in the form of the members paying more into the pension and retiree health care fund. By doing this, the Employer will be paying less and therefore saving money.
The agreement allows the Employer to use laid off Waterford Twp Police Officers to work part time performing the duties of detention officers when there are prisoners being held for court.
The Waterford Dispatchers made significant economic concessions as well. In addition to a reduction in personal time off, employees in the unit reduced their wage rate by rolling back the hourly wage to below the rates in effect in 2008. Lori Holland, president of the dispatchers Union said, "These cuts weren't easy to make. I have members who are single, head of household trying to put kids through college. They could meet Federal guidelines for working poor."
Fred Timpner, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Police, said that he is proud of his membership. "No one likes cuts. Unfortunately these are tough times. The members for both groups could have refused to do anything since both had signed contracts. Many of my members grew up, live in, went to school and worship in Waterford. In short they not only work for the community, they take great pride in being part of this community. The concessions made do not compromise the safety or the service to the citizens of Waterford."
Union concessions in Waterford started in 2009, when the Fire union extended their contract for two years without any wage increases and in late 2010 the Police Command unit granted several concessions which included increased Pension and Retiree Health Care contributions.
"The Township is pleased that our employee groups have come forward to assist the Township in reducing cost. We hope to continue to work with these groups and all our employees to fairly reduce costs through the collective bargaining process," said Seeterlin, adding "We have faced and continue to face dramatic reductions in property taxes and will see further cuts in state aid. Our citizens deserve quality public service at appropriate levels. We will continue to use the limited resources available to us to provide service to the best of our ability."
For Further information Contact Robert Seeterlin at 248-674-6251 or Fred Timpner at 248-867-6752.
SOURCE Michigan Association of Police