Office of Mayor William Peduto
Arbitration Panel Issues Final Police Contract Award

PITTSBURGH, PA (July 25, 2016) Following more than a year of hearings and internal discussions, an arbitration panel has issued its final contract terms between the City of Pittsburgh and its police union, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1.  

The contract award follows parameters set by the City's Act 47 Recovery Plan, which have guided every City contract awarded since Pittsburgh entered financially distressed status in 2003.  

"This is a fair – and legally required – contract in which neither side got everything it wanted. It is a balanced award that is consistent with the mandates of state law and the contracts signed by every bargaining unit in the city," Mayor William Peduto said. 

The award contains several agreements benefiting the workplace environment for rank-and-file police officers, while staying within Act 47 legal constraints. They include: 

  • A pilot program requested by the FOP to study a switch to a four-day, 10-hour schedule. Allowing for 3 days off could help address officer fatigue and stress, and give them more time with their families. 

  • Another change requested by the FOP allowing all officers the ability to annually pick their duty locations and shifts, where previously only the top 25% most senior officers were allowed to do so. Officers may pick duty locations closer to their homes, or choose to serve new neighborhoods with differing levels of crime, which could help address officer burnout. 

  • A change barring the non-emergency cancellation of off-days without first offering shifts to other officers on a voluntary basis. This gives officers more protection when needing to take time off for personal reasons. 

  • The creation of a new trust fund to help pay for post-retirement health care benefits for officers hired from 2005 through 2015 and ineligible for such post-retirement coverage. 

The contract award also includes the Act 47 requirements restricting salary increases for all City employees, and the recovery plan's mandates that all employees – both union and non-union -- pay more for health care coverage.  

“I can assure all our officers that the Mayor hears their concerns about this contract. Now that arbitration is over, we are proceeding to tackle other open issues that I know officers care about, relating to secondary employment and overtime,” said Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief Cameron S. McLay. 

The previous contract expired at the end of 2014 and the new four-year contract term is from January 2015 through December 2018. The Bureau of Police comprises the single-biggest segment of City employees, with roughly 850 officers out of some 3,300 total employees citywide.  

"While this contract is finally done, it alone is not enough to fix the City's long-term financial problems, including long-term pension and other legacy costs,” Mayor Peduto said. “There is still a tough road ahead, and all City employees are bearing a burden." 

In compliance with the City's Act 47 plan – and consistent with contract controls set for all City employees – the contract includes base wage salary increases of 0% in 2015; 1 % in 2016; 2% in 2017; and 2% in 2018. Currently, police officers pay roughly half what municipal employees pay for health care: starting in 2017, officers will have to contribute 15% of their health care premiums, which is an increase from their current 8.8%.  

The contract will take effect immediately. There is a 30-day period in which either side can appeal. 

 

Published:
Monday, July 25, 2016
Contacts
Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
City of Pittsburgh
Cell: 412-660-1999
Email

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