Police deal done: Police, city reach contract

Within days of the contract expiring, Wapakoneta Police Department law enforcement officers and Wapakoneta City Council members reached agreement on a new deal.
Councilors approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement during a special meeting Tuesday with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which represents the department’s officers and lieutenants. The agreement takes effect Nov. 1, a day after existing deal expires and runs through Oct. 31, 2014.
The police officers and lieutenants are to receive 1.5 percent wage increases the first two years of the deal and a 2 percent increase the final year of the contract.
“i think it is a very good contract,” Mayor Rodney Metz said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “It was give-and-take — it gives us the flexibility we need in regard to the budget and it gives them some items they wanted.
“The contract works out well for each of us and negotiations went very well,” the mayor said. “The fact we reached a deal prior to the expiration of the existing contract shows their willingness and the administration’s willingness to negotiate and to cooperate.”
The local Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is represented by Lts. Barry Truesdale and Cal Schneider and police officer Cory Zwiebel.
“Negotiations were civil,” Schneider said in a telephone interview this morning. “We didn’t ask for the world and they didn’t offer the world. Both sides were very reasonable during negotiations.”
Union representatives could not be reached for comment prior to press time.
Councilors approved the deal after discussing the contract in executive session during a special meeting held Tuesday at the Wapakoneta City Administration Building.
Under the terms of the contract, the officers and lieutenants will pay 25 percent of their insurance premium with the city paying 75 percent during each of the next three years.
The officers also received an increase in their clothing allowance, with it rising to $550 from $485.
Metz said negotiations took only three meetings between the two parties, significantly quicker than the last two contract negotiations.
The existing contract was not signed until May 2009, with the terms retroactive to Nov. 1, 2008. Negotiations for the previous collective bargaining agreement extended until April 6, 2006, before officers and council agreed on contract terms. That deal was retroactive to Nov. 1, 2005.