Police Union, City Reportedly Close To New Contract
By JENNA CARLESSO
March 27, 2012
HARTFORD —— After nearly two years of working under an expired contract, the city's police union is close to reaching a new labor agreement, sources close to the negotiations said.
Details of the new contract were not available. Hartford Police Union President Richard Holton declined to comment, saying negotiations were ongoing.
The 456-member union has been working under its old contract, which expired in June 2010. City officials have said that negotiations have been underway for months, but sources only recently indicated that the parties were close to a deal.
Mayor Pedro Segarra, the police union and the city council all must approve the contract. The police union endorsed Segarra for the November election. He won his first full term in November.
Segarra's spokeswoman, Andrea Comer, noted Tuesday that the police union contract had expired just as Segarra took over the city's top job.
"The contract has been in arbitration for several months and negotiations have been ongoing for some time as well," she said. "The mayor is hopeful that an agreement will be reached soon, but he is also committed to managing the fiscal health of the city while demonstrating its commitment to those men and women who serve on the front lines every day."
The mayor declined to comment on details of the proposed police union contract, but Comer said: "He has sought to develop agreements that are aligned with the recommendations of the budget fiscal analysis task force, which recognized the impact of our current pension system, and the property tax reform task force, as collective bargaining has a budgetary impact."
Leadership at the police department has changed twice in the last three months. When former Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts retired in late December, Segarra tapped Assistant Chief Brian Heavren to take over as interim chief. Last month, the mayor named James Rovella, head of the Hartford shooting task force, as acting police chief.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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