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Waltham Police Unions at Odds With City Over Wages

Officers have not had a raise since 2009.

A large group of Waltham Police officers picketed City Hall on Nov. 29. Credit:
A large group of Waltham Police officers picketed City Hall on Nov. 29. Credit:

The Waltham Police officers’ unions are at odds with the city over a contract dispute that has left the officers without a raise for the past four and a half years, according to city and union officials.

As a result, the city and the two unions are scheduled for mediation soon to settle the dispute. 

The unions’ main complaint is working without a contract since July 2010 and not receiving a raise since 2009, according to Attorney Alan Shapiro. Shapiro, and his law firm, Sandulli Grace, represent the Waltham Police Patrolman’s Union and the Waltham Police Superior Officers. The two unions total 150 officers, Shapiro said.

"We just want to get decent, fair, wage increases,” Shapiro told Waltham Patch. "The police officers are frustrated.”

Publicity surrounding the dispute comes after a large group of officers picketed City Hall on Nov. 29 to call attention to the matter. 

NEW CONTRACT

The officers are seeking a new three-year agreement that would include retroactive wage increases, Shapiro said. While he did not specify the exact raise percentage the unions were seeking, he said it would be “similar” to the 6.75 percent over three years Waltham firefighters recently received.

After the wage issue is settled, the unions plan to negotiate a three-year new labor agreement to run from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016, Shapiro said. Shapiro said that could include wage increases as well as address other issues. He would not specify the nature of the other issues.

The two sides are scheduled to attend a mediation session on Dec. 10 in Waltham, according to Shapiro. A Joint Labor Management Committee mediator is scheduled to run the sessions, Shapiro said. The unions filed a complaint with the JLMC after failing to negotiate a new agreement, he said.

Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said the city is awaiting a response from the superior officers union about the city’s proposed contract. McCarthy said she could not say much on the issue. She did, however, say there were “management issues” to be settled.

PREVIOUS CONTRACT EFFORTS

According to Shapiro, the unions’ last contract expired in June 2010 and since then, police officers have worked under the same contract, but without a raise. Shapiro said the two unions have tried to negotiate a new contract with the city, but have not had any success. Shapiro said negotiation meetings had been scheduled in the past, but he has never been told why they had been cancelled.


Larry Fine December 03, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Its the same with Fire and DPW. Madame Mayor doesn't negotiate fairly with the unions. Why does the city council get a cost of living raise but the men and women that actually do the work have to sit for over 4 years with nothing?
GrampaJoe December 04, 2013 at 06:45 AM
This needs to be taken care of. Way too long to go without at least a cost of living increase.
Guy FromWaltham December 04, 2013 at 08:11 AM
More of this needs to come out. The mayor is crippling the city. She expects people to get a 0% increase and be happy. If the arbitrators find in favor and give an increase, where will the retro active check money come from? That will be substantial amount if money between fire and police! If she can't negotiate with our own employees in good faith...do we want her handling other negotiations like the Fernald.
Guy FromWaltham December 04, 2013 at 08:11 AM
More of this needs to come out. The mayor is crippling the city. She expects people to get a 0% increase and be happy. If the arbitrators find in favor and give an increase, where will the retro active check money come from? That will be substantial amount if money between fire and police! If she can't negotiate with our own employees in good faith...do we want her handling other negotiations like the Fernald.
Herb Philpott December 04, 2013 at 09:10 AM
President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote, ""All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service." He continued, "The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations," he wrote. The government spending in Waltham is too high, and public employee wages and benefits make up the bulk of it. The taxpayers of Waltham deserve a much smaller and more accountable government.
osende monteiro December 04, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Public Servants who are ignorant to their duties do not deserve ANYTHING. On the public record Waltham PD gets Federal Grant $ in order to destroy 4th Amendment RIGHTS,, so logically how or why would anyone want to gibe them more money... and why are my comments beong DELETED... the truth is the TRUTH.
Marshall Ottina December 04, 2013 at 11:39 AM
A chief that beats his wife, an officer caught with child porn, the Jared Remy debacle, and road details with twice as many officers as needed because half of them are looking at their cell phones instead of the traffic. Please, where can I sign to give this stellar department more money?
Ryan Grannan-Doll (Editor) December 04, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Commenters, A volunteer police department? That would make response times to calls drop quite a bit.
Marshall Ottina December 04, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Response times would be the least of our problems with a volunteer PD.
Ryan Grannan-Doll (Editor) December 04, 2013 at 03:29 PM
@Common Sense, That's not an opinion. It's a fact. I have covered towns with volunteer fire departments. They have to respond to calls from home, which means sometimes they are not in town to respond and must travel from other communities.
CP December 04, 2013 at 07:28 PM
They should be entitled to a small cost of living raise but a retro raise would cripple the city. Taxes are too high as it is.
Guy FromWaltham December 05, 2013 at 09:23 AM
When you fail to negotiate this is what happens. These are the games that this mayor plays. Wake up Waltham. She is costing you money by failing to negate with all unions in a timely manner. 4 yrs is to long and once approved negotiations will have to start again and it will get put off.

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