by Martha Quetsch
ELBURNâ€”The Elburn Village Board on Monday approved a first-time contract between village and the Illinois Council of Police, the Elburn Police Department’s full-time officers’ collective bargaining unit.
Negotiations between the village and the Illinois Council of Police for the Elburn officers’ first union contract began after the officers announced their plan to unionize in December 2008.
The purpose of the agreement, which extends through October 2011, is to provide for the appropriate wage structure, hours of employment, working conditions, benefits and grievance procedures within the Police Department.
The agreement includes a no-strike clause. It also ensures that officers may take up to eight sick days and requires that they be paid for 12 holidays each year. Officers may roll over up to 160 unused sick-days’ pay.
Additionally, the agreement guarantees that officers receive 10 to 20 paid days off annually, depending upon the number of years they have been employed by the Police Department.
The board approved the contract in a 4-3 vote. Trustees Gordon Dierschow, Jerry Schmidt and Ken Anderson voted against the contract. Village President Dave Anderson cast the deciding vote to break the tie.
Trustee Ken Anderson said the contract’s terms for compensation will pose village budget challenges. The agreement requires 1 percent raises for all officers annually. In addition, it allows officers to accumulate up to 80 hours of compensatory time, for which they will be paid 1 1/2 times their regular wage. The contract also ensures that officers will receive time-and-a-half pay for court appearances during times they are not scheduled to work.
â€œIt’s not just wages for earnings,â€ Trustee Anderson said. â€œWe are going to have to have reserves sitting there to deal with the contracts.â€
Trustee Anderson said he appreciates the work the Police Department does in the community, but wants the village to be fiscally responsible.
Trustee Jeff Walter voted for the agreement, but acknowledged that it will cause the village financial challenges in the future.
â€œThere is no doubt that this will affect other areas of the budget,â€ Walter said.