Warwick reaches agreement with Fire, Police

THE CITY OF WARWICK has reached new, three-year contracts with the city’s fire and police unions, Mayor Scott Avedisian announced Monday.
Posted 7/3/12

WARWICK – The city of Warwick has reached new, three-year contracts with the city’s fire and police unions, Mayor Scott Avedisian announced Monday.

The contracts, which provide no pay raises, increase employee health care contributions, provide for combined additional cost savings of more than $900,000 and decrease the unfunded liability for the city’s public safety pension systems by $30 million over the life of the agreements, according to a release.

The International Association of Fire Fighters Union, local 2748 voted on and approved the contact on Friday, June 22, and the Fraternal Order of Police Union, lodge 7 voted on Friday, June 29.

“These negotiations were not always easy and required a great deal of time and effort from all who were involved in the process,” said Avedisian in prepared remarks.

“I thank the union leadership for recognizing the extraordinary financial circumstances the city and state face and applaud our public safety employees for approving agreements that require sacrifices that ultimately help the taxpayers and our present and future retirees,” added the mayor.

The ratification of the contracts is on the docket for consideration at the City Council’s July 9 meeting.

According to a release, the pacts significantly decrease the unfunded liability of the city’s three public safety plans.

Because COLAS for pensioners in the Police/Fire I plan are based on raises given to current employees, keeping pay levels at existing rates for the next three years will reduce the unfunded liability for that plan by $22 million, according to Avedisian.

The Police/Fire I pension plan the only plan deemed “critical” by state standards.

Savings for the Police II and Fire II pension systems will amount to roughly $4 million over the life of the contracts, for a combined total public safety pension savings of $30 million, according to the release.

The contracts with the police and fire unions call for changes in sick time as well as long-term leave policies and make changes in the overall operations of the departments.

Warwick has also reached a “tentative agreement” with the municipal employees union, Local 1651 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 94, which is slated to vote on the contract on Friday, according to a release.

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