Mayor Jim Gray and union officials this morning signed the four-year labor agreement the city reached recently with jail officers and sergeants.
“This is the second show of support our public safety employees have made, demonstrating that they are willing to sacrifice for the common good,” Gray said. “We’re thankful for their commitment to our citizens and to our city’s safety.”
Gray said like the contract signed last October with firefighters, the new corrections contract reflects ongoing work to transform government by bringing financial responsibility to city hall.
Union contract negotiations continue with Lieutenants and Captains in Corrections; Majors in Fire; and Officers, Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains in Police.
The Corrections contract, which received a thumbs-up by the Urban County Council on Thursday, was ratified Jan. 23 by corrections officers and sergeants with a vote of 96 to 62. It includes an estimated $1.2 million in savings over four years. The contract covers approximately 257 Corrections officers and sergeants.
Community Corrections Sgt. Kevin Johnson, an Assistant Shift Commander in the Bureau of Custody, 1st shift, is president of Town Branch FOP Lodge #83, the collective bargaining representative for the Community Corrections officers and sergeants.
“The Community Corrections Officers and Sergeants understand the financial crisis the Great American City of Lexington is facing, and we wanted to answer the Mayor’s call for public safety employees to make sacrifices,” Johnson said. “By ratifying this contract, we have demonstrated our support of the Gray administration and our continued commitment to the citizens of our community that we are sworn to protect and serve. We greatly appreciate the leadership of the administration’s bargaining committee in supporting the Lodge and bringing us to the signing our contract. We can now look forward to a better tomorrow and a more promising future.”
Gray included more than $5 million in savings in public safety union contracts in the city’s current year budget.
The Corrections contract includes both cost savings and investments to ensure top performance from officers and sergeants.
• No pay increases for the first two years of the contract.
• Adjustments in vacation, holiday and sick leave time.
• Adjustments in health insurance benefit dollars in initial years of the contract.
• A tuition benefit at Midway College for its Business Administration associate degree program.
• Annual uniform allowance.
• Improvement in death in the line of duty benefit.
While focusing on maintaining a high level of service to citizens, Gray’s budget cuts in the current have reached beyond Public Safety to every corner of city hall. “The budget is based on core principles I’ve learned in almost 40 years working in a family business,” Gray said. “It’s a budget based on paying down debt, not increasing it; and on addressing inefficiencies. Our budget represented a roadmap to solvency by beginning to address out-of-control costs.”