Lexington police officers late Thursday ratified a four-year contract with the city that reduces costs and protects public safety.
Mayor Jim Gray thanked police officers for their willingness to help the city cope with its tight budget. The agreement, which will now be taken to the Urban County Council for review, includes an estimated $4.47 million in savings over the life of the contract.
The police agreement is the third union contract the Gray administration has negotiated. Taken together, the new contracts in Police, Fire and Community Corrections will save the city a total of approximately $10.4 million by 2016.
The police agreement was supported by 75 percent of the officers who voted. The final vote was 287-71. The agreement covers more than 500 employees in the ranks of police officer and sergeant.
“Police officers … the rank and file who are on the streets every day, doing the job … again demonstrated their commitment to the safety of our citizens,” Gray said.
Gray said the new contract supports the administration’s work to bring financial responsibility to City Hall. “As we build a Great American City, we must find savings and efficiencies so we can continue to afford to invest in our strengths, including excellent public safety services, even when our budget is tight,” Gray said.
Gray has included significant new investments in public safety in the budget he proposed for the upcoming budget year, which begins July 1. Recognizing the need for additional police officers, the city is already hiring one new class of 25, and Gray has included two new classes in his proposed budget, now under consideration by the Urban County Council. The Mayor also included funds for two new classes of firefighters.
Savings in the police contract include:
• The union agreed to a 2-year wage freeze and other pay concessions. Police officers will see a pay increase in the third and fourth years of the contract.
• Reductions in vacation and holiday leave time for two years.
• Reductions in clothing allowances.
• Restrictions on personal use of home-fleet vehicles.
In addition to recognizing the contributions of the police negotiating team, Gray thanked the members of the administration’s negotiating team: Commissioner Clay Mason, Department of Public Safety; Lead Negotiator Don Crain, Frost Brown Todd, West Chester, Ohio; City Attorney Ed Gardner, Department of Law; Director Ryan Barrow, Division of Budgeting; Assistant Chief Dwayne Holman and Assistant Chief Ron Compton, Division of Police; and Ashley Case, Division of Human Resources.