Bedford Police Sign New Deal

Contract Includes 3.5% Pay Increases in 2014 and 2015

SEA members at the Bedford Police Department signed a new four-year contract this week. Members there ratified the agreement with the town earlier this year, and voters gave it their stamp of approval last month.

Chris Storti, the chapter vice president and former president, said the deal includes wage increases of 3.5 percent in 2014 and 2015, but it also included changes in health care. While the contract itself is a four-year deal, not everything runs across all four years.

“What they did was allow two years of wage increases and insurance,” Storti said. “Then we go back to the table to renegotiate the last two years of health insurance and salaries.”

“Everything else will stay the same over the four years,” he said.

Storti said it was a long process, but each side made concessions to get to an agreement. He said members agreed to a cap on longevity and changes to health insurance plans.

“Our copays went up, but the premiums went down a bit,” he said.

One of the plans now has a deductible attached, which is a big change, he said. But he said he just got word that all members will be seeing a savings soon.

“I just got a notice from Health Trust that all of the plans are going down in cost by 3 percent,” he said. “That’s going to be even more of a savings to the membership.”

Storti said there were a couple of factors that moved members toward ratifying the deal. The first was timing, because voters must approve multi-year deals.

“If we went out of contract, we would have to wait until the next March, because we can’t have a special town meeting,” Storti said. “Do we want to go 15 months and get nothing?”

The other factor was the understanding that members still pay a relatively small portion of health care costs.

“We have to remember that the town pays 90 percent of the health insurance on one plan and 95 percent on the other,” he said. “In the majority of communities, the membership pays more than that. That was huge.”

The contract runs through the end of 2017. You can find a complete copy here.

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