By Nick Petersen ● BocaJump | July 26, 2012
Unionized police officers will get a 2% pay raise this year and a 2.5% raise next year as a result of the Elgin City Council’s approval Wednesday night of a two-year labor agreement with the Policemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
In a sentiment echoed later by Mayor Dave Kaptain, Councilman John Prigge thanked city staff and the union representing the officers for reaching “a fair contract,” noting that while officers received no pay increase in 2011, they “went out and kept us safe.”
Under the contract, a first-year officer’s starting pay will be $60,368 this year, and after 4 ½ years would earn $82,987. In 2013, starting pay for a first-year officer will be $61,877, and after 4 ½ years, $85,062. This year’s raises are retroactive to Jan. 1.
The agreement includes the following provisions:
- Health insurance contributions by the employees will be increased. Effective March 1, 2013, the health insurance contribution for police personnel hired before July 1, 2012, is being increased from 10 percent to 12 percent of the cost of health insurance premiums. Police personnel hired after July 1, 2012, will contribute 20 percent of the cost of their health insurance premiums.
- The retiree health insurance premium subsidy is being eliminated for police personnel hired after July 1, 2012.
- Officers could earn a $200 bonus for completing the Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report test established by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and meeting the fitness standards for their gender and age. Officers would not be required to take the test, and cannot be penalized for failing to meet test standards if they do take it.
Officers are given a free membership to The Centre of Elgin recreation facility.
The council also approved a resolution supporting changes to the Illinois Video Gaming Act that essentially would allow it to pick and choose who can receive video gaming licenses in Elgin.
The resolution backs a proposal by the Elgin United Civic Association, composed of 16 local fraternal, veterans and not-for-profit civic organizations. It would ask state lawmakers to change the video gaming law to allow exceptions for fraternal, veterans and not-for-profit civic organizations from municipal ordinances, like Elgin’s, which otherwise prohibiting video gaming.
Under the current law, municipalities can ban video gaming or award licenses to bars, restaurants and private clubs, as well as fraternal, veterans and nonprofit organizations.
The council earlier had banned video gaming in the city, but recently asked Corporation Counsel William Cogley to research whether it could grant licenses only to the fraternal, veterans and nonprofit groups. Cogley said it appears to be an all-or-nothing proposition.