Enumclaw police receive new contract

Enumclaw police officers had worked for a year without a contract, a situation that was resolved Jan. 11 with a unanimous vote of the City Council.

The previous contract between the city and the Enumclaw Police Officers Association – which includes officers and sergeants, but not the chief or two lieutenants – had expired with the close of 2008. Efforts to draft a new collective bargaining agreement had failed to the point where the sides opted for arbitration. Before that step could be taken, however, a new, three-year pact was hammered out.

The contract approved by the council and earlier ratified by the association is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009, and expires Dec. 31, 2011.

The contract calls for a retroactive pay increase of 5 percent for 2009. For this year and 2011, the salary increase will be based upon the Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area and will be at least 2.5 percent, but not more than 5 percent.

Salaries for 2009 show the range beginning at $4,278 monthly for beginning officers, increasing annually to $5,461 for those on the job five years or more. For sergeants, the range is $4,937 to $6,301.

Health benefits call for the city to pay 100 percent of the premium for the employee, a spouse and dependents for medical, dental and vision coverage.

Other contract stipulations call for:

• overtime pay of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate except on five holidays, when the pay rate is doubled. Employees receive seven “floating” holidays.

• longevity pay added to the employee’s regular rate – 2 percent after 15 years with the city and 3.5 percent at 20 years.

• incentive pay for higher education – 2.5 percent for those with an associate degree and 5 percent for a bachelor’s degree, if the degree is in a field directly related to police service. Smaller increases are allowed for other fields of study.

• six days of vacation commencing the employee’s first year, 12 days during the second year, 18 days through the ninth year and 21 days for those with 10 years or more.

• bereavement leave of three days, or five days if a funeral is more than 300 miles from home.

• personal leave equal to two work shifts.

• an annual sum of $900, to be paid to each officer, beginning this year, for the purchase of uniforms and equipment.

As part of the agreement, the association acknowledges that its duties “are essential to the public’s health, safety and welfare” so members will not participate in any type of strike or work stoppage.

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