Saying it represents a major improvement in the relationship between the city administration and , Mayor Daryl Finizio announced this evening that tentative agreements with the New London Police Union have been approved.
Finizio said all layoffs in the police department during the 2013 fiscal year will be avoided under a . He said the second one, approved this morning, will result in at least $954,000 in savings and the resolution of numerous grievances and municipal prohibited practice complaints.
“There are still going to be disagreements and there are still some unresolved issues,” said Finizio. “But I think overall this is a positive step.”
Receive updates to this story and other breaking news in your inbox or smartphone by signing up for our newsletter here
Todd Lynch, president of the New London Police Union, said he thought the agreement represented a “turning point” in the relationship between the union and mayor’s office. He thanked Chief Administrative Officer Jane Glover, who has negotiated agreements with both the police and fire unions.
“We believe the results here are fair dealing for everyone,” said Lynch.
Finizio said the majority of the savings will come from scheduling changes to reduce overtime at a cost reduction of about $500,000. He said $350,000 will be saved by the removal of a direct dealing grievance, $175,000 by the removal of an additional 34 grievances and complaints, and $14,000 by the June tentative agreement.
The union has been criticized Finizio on several occasions, in particular his decision to . In a political update earlier this year, union political director Chuck Flynn said Finizio has .
Finizio also decided , later hiring former New Haven assistant police chief to take his place. Captains William Dittman and Michael Lacey , but later after the City Council necessary to meet the retirement agreements. These suits have since been .
Lynch also , saying the chief has acted in a retaliatory fashion due to his criticism. This case has been transferred to federal court.
Of the grievances and complaints settled by the agreement, Lynch and Dittman each filed six while Lacey filed one.
Finizio has fired two police officers— and —since taking office. Finizio said Bergeson was fired due to frequent absences and his disciplinary history, while Northup was fired after an incident last August in which he off Bank Street. As part of the agreements, the city agreed to remove any objections to the appeal of these terminations.
The new agreement awards four compensation days to each bargaining unit member, to be used in the 2013 fiscal year. These days may substitute previously scheduled vacation days but cannot create overtime. Finizio said these will offset the savings realized in other parts of the agreement by $85,000.
The agreement also adds the stipulation that police union employees on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act are responsible for payment of their full medical coverage during the use of any authorized leave without pay.
Lynch said the union’s executive committee met on the agreement this afternoon and the total membership was informed of it as well.
Ten police employees in May. Finizio said at that time that it would be necessary to fire the employees and leave 11 positions vacant in order for the department to meet a .
An initial tentative agreement in June rescinded this decision and promised that no layoffs would occur in the department in the 2013 fiscal year. This agreement also promised to and maintain them during the 2013 fiscal year, have Glover and Lynch meet to resolve grievances and complaints, and have the union agree to support the as well as the city’s budget during any .
Finizio said the City Council is not required to approve the agreements, as it did in the case of an , as they not require any supplemental funding or budget transfers.