Beacon Falls, police union approve new contract

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BEACON FALLS — The town and police union have ratified a new, four-year contract.

The contract with the Beacon Falls Police Department Local 1303-415 of Council 4 AFSCME, AFL-CIO covers from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023.

Beacon Falls participates in the resident state trooper program. Under the program, Connecticut State Police provides services, such as dispatch and booking, and a trooper to oversee police operations. The town still has its own police officers.

The police union covers the town’s three full-time police officers, First Selectman Christopher Bielik said. The administrative lieutenant position and about a dozen part-time officers aren’t part of the union.

Wages increased 2% this fiscal year and will increase 2.5% in each of the following three years under the contract. The starting wage for patrol officers is $29.96 per hour this fiscal year, according to the contract.

Officers who work the evening shift receive an additional 45 cents per hour. Those who work the midnight shift get an additional 60 cents per hour, according to the contract.

Officers who work private duty are paid 1.5 times the corporal hourly rate, which is $34.54 this fiscal year, plus an additional $9 per hour with a guaranteed minimum of four hours. The rate for private duty on Saturday, Sunday or holidays is two times the corporal hourly rate plus $9 per hour with a guaranteed minimum of four hours.

Employees who work a minimum of 30 hours per week are eligible for medical insurance. The cost share for employees is 19% this fiscal year.

The town will pay officers who don’t take the insurance $3,000 in the first three years of the deal and $2,750 in the last year, the contract states. Officers hired after July 1 of this year aren’t eligible for this payment, according to the contract.

“I think that it’s fair,” said Bielik about the contract. “I think that each side had issues that were important to them. The whole purpose of collective bargaining is to hammer those out and come up with something that both sides find agreeable.”