Public Safety Unions Agree To Three-Year Contracts

The city’s three unions representing police officers and firefighters have agreed to new three-year contracts that include a 9 percent salary increase and the reinstatement of education incentives for younger first responders, the Administration of Mayor Thomas P. Koch announced Tuesday.

“We have the best Police and Fire Department in the entire Commonwealth, and these  agreements are a reflection on the work these men and women do on a daily basis for our community,” Mayor Koch said. “I’m grateful to all the negotiating teams for working continuously in the spirit of collaboration, rolling up their sleeves, and working out deals that benefit both our first responders and the taxpayers.”

The three unions – The Quincy Police Patrol Officers Association; The Quincy Police Superior Officers Association and the Quincy Firefighters Association Local 792 – represent more than 400 first responders, including command staffs with the exception of the chiefs of the departments.

In 2013, amid the last recession, the three unions agreed to a contract that saw the education incentives — which provide additional pay for first responders obtaining advanced degrees – reduced for police and firefighters hired from that point on.  The new contract returns the full incentive for those younger officers and firefighters hired after 2013, making education incentives equitable across the departments.

“The Executive Board of the QPPOA worked hard at the table. We protected our current benefits, navigated the city’s wants and the members’ requests and were able to reach a fair agreement that included a good wage package. We truly appreciate the continued support of the community and our elected officials,” said Greg Hartnett, president of the QPPOA.

As part of the agreement, the two police unions agreed to policy changes that will allow for changes in how details can be scheduled and additional injury-time protections for the City.  The two contracts are largely similar, with minor adjustments to create pay equity for long-serving officers and professional development time for Superior Officers.

“We feel that the new contract is a fair and reasonable deal that protects our membership while at the same time provides the highest levels of service to the citizens of Quincy.  We would like to thank Mayor Tom Koch and his team for their continued support, as well as the professional and respectful way in which we were able to come to this agreement,“ said Police Captain Rick McCusker, President of the Superior Officers Association.

The Fire union, which represents all firefighters including command staff, agreed to an alcohol and drug testing policy as part of its contract, as well provisions that will allow for increased training for active shooter scenarios and water rescues.  In return, firefighters will receive a 2 percent increase on a component of their salaries dealing with the handling of hazardous materials.

“This is a fair deal, one that we worked hard at the table in collaboration with the Administration to negotiate. It protects our members, provides a cost-of-living wage increase, and at the same time creates the platform for additional training and protections the City had sought. This is the kind of agreement that’s possible when we all sit at the table, talk honestly, and drill down until we get there. We’ll always have our differences, but no one can ever accuse this Administration of closing the door and being unwilling to hash out our differences,” said Tom Bowes, president of Quincy Firefighters Local 792.

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