Should The City Have Entered Negotiations With the Police Unions Last March?

Michael Collins is upset that the city has taken so long to begin negotiations with the police unions, If you look at Maggie Thurber’s blog,, there is a link to the 2009 budget which also shows information for 2008. From this I gathered that there were 482.75 officers, and 94.5 sargeants (who may be covered by TPPA), and 331 firefighter/paramedic positions. If the police are granted their double-digit increase in wages over the life of the contract (supposedly three years) then it might work out to three percent of base the first year, three percent the second year, and, if the economy is booming again, four percent the fourth year. The combined salaries of patrolmen and sargeants (with other pay thrown in) comes to $35,954,024.28 ($28,573,828.42, p.413, for patrolmen and $7,381.195.86 for sergeants). With a three percent increase the first year this becomes $37,033,675.01, the second year becomes $38,144,685.26, and the third year (if the economy is better, and the total raise is only 10%) becomes $39,289,025.82. This means that the first year of the contract sees an increase for the budget of $1,079,650.73, the second year sees an increase of $2,190.654.44, and the third year (if a double-digit raise is to be achieved) shows an increase of $3,335.001.54. Now I might be wrong because I just included patrolmen and sargeants. This comes to a total of $6,605,311.71 over the life of the contract. Frankly, I am glad that the administration decided to try to have a strategy for negotiating these contracts. Imagine how angry we would feel if the city’s administration had decided to conduct these negotiations before the “shit hit the fan”, and had given into the demands of the police union.

There are 331 firefighter/paramedics who are budgeted to receive $20,049,468.27 in salaries and wages in 2009. If they receive the same raises as the TPPA is requesting then it comes to an increase of $601,484.05 the first year, $1,221,012.62 the second year, and $2,071,831.86 (if they get a four percent raise the third year). This comes to a total for the firefighters of $3,894,328.53. This added to the patrolman’s raises comes to $10,499,460.24 over the life of the contract. So a million spent on negotiations MAY save us ten times that much over the life of this contract(s).

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The increase for the second year for the firefighters would be $619,528.57, and the third year (with a four pencent increase on the second year as base) would be $850,819.24. This would be a total of $2,071,831.86 over three years for the firefighters, and a total of $8,677,143.57 for both services over the life of the contract(s). So $800-900,000 spent on negotiations MAY save the taxpayers 8-9 times that much over the life of this contract(s).

Old South End Broadway

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