FRG, police officers agree to new contract

FOX RIVER GROVE – The village and its eight-member police union have come to an agreement for a new contract after a year-and-a-half of negotiations.

The police union had been working without a contract since May 2011.

The new contract, which was approved by the Fox River Grove Village Board on Thursday, runs through April 30, 2014. Next year, the village and the union will be back to negotiating.

The average annual increase in wages in the deal is 4.1 percent, according to a memo to the village board.

With the contract now adopted, the village will have to include retroactive pay this fiscal year. By the end of the current fiscal year, the village will spend $440,000, when including two years’ worth of retroactive pay.

For the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in May, the base pay for the eight officers is projected to be a total of $365,000.

The beginning salary for an officer is $41,994 a year.

Fox River Grove and the union had been negotiating for 18 months.

“This contract was the result of several years of negotiations with two unions,” Village Police Chief Ron Lukasik said in a memo to the Village Board.

During negotiations, the union changed which organization represented it, Village Administrator Karl Warwick said. Officers started with the Illinois Council of Police, but later switched to the Metropolitan Alliance of Police.

There were some procedural changes in the new contract.

The village administrator now will review grievances after the police chief does. Previously, the village president reviewed grievances after the police chief.

The contract now includes provisions that could require an officer to undergo a medical or psychological exam to determine fitness for duty. The previous contract was silent on the issue.

Overtime pay rates for officers will occur after 80 hours are worked in a two-week period, with sick time not counting toward those hours.

The previous contract called for overtime rates to kick in at 82 hours, with sick time counting toward overtime.

Field training officers also will receive an additional $1 per hour of pay when training a new officer. New officers need to train for 480 hours, which is 12 weeks.

Termination of officers now will rest with an arbitrator, rather than the village president.

Fox River Grove now can use part-time officers for up to 2,500 hours a year and can use them when potential overtime situations occur, which allows the village a little more flexibility.

Previously there were strict rules on how officers were used. If a shift was open, it had to be offered to a full-time officer first, Warwick said.

“We don’t have that now. We’re just capping the number of hours, which is easier procedurally for us,” Warwick said.

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