By Andrea Cordle
Earlier this month, Brian Toth, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) liaison for Grove City, addressed Grove City council with concerns about the negotiated contract.
“This contract is 16 months overdue,” said Toth. “We’ve been extremely patient.”
According to Toth, the union members and city representatives have already been through mediation.
“Both sides walked away with something,” said Toth. “The contract is fair.”
Council agreed with that. At the Feb. 18 meeting, council approved the contract with the FOP Capital City Lodge #9. The measure was passed as an emergency.
The contract will be retroactive and effective from Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2021.
According to City Administrator Chuck Boso, the contract will cost the city $1.4 million in additional compensation. The contract covers 52 police officers, eight sergeants and two lieutenants.
“The FOP and the city’s administration worked very hard on this deal,” said councilman Ted Berry.
Per the contract, members will receive a 3 percent increase in pay for each three years of the agreement. The city will provide group health insurance and a pharmacy program for all union members. The city currently provides health insurance in accordance with the Central Ohio Health Care Consortium plan. However, the contract states that the city has the right to seek alternative health insurance programs. If the city were to break ties with the consortium, it would provide the same level of health insurance and pharmacy program coverage.
“I’m glad the insurance rates are staying the same,” said Berry.
The city also provides vision and dental coverage, along with life insurance in the amount of the member’s gross annual base salary or $75,000, whichever is higher.
“The officers do their job well,” said Toth. “They serve the community well.”
Berry noted that he would like to see the city add officers to the department to offset some of the compensatory time.
Grove City council president Christine Houk said city leaders have pride in the police force.
“We are proud of the way they protect the community and build relationships in the community,” she said.