2% annual raises for cops for 3 years

EAST NEWARK –

Borough police salaries are going up a bit but some of the increase will be offset by cops having to contribute, to some extent, toward the cost of their health benefits.

That’s the mixed news contained in a new labor contract between the borough and the East Newark branch of the Harrison Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Local 22 which runs from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2016.

The agreement, which has been ratified by the PBA and approved April 8 by the borough governing body, calls for 2% pay raises for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Borough police had been working under their old contract which expired Dec. 31, 2013.

Police Chief Anthony Monteiro said that members of the ENPD should be receiving their retroactive pay sometime in May.

Under a two-tier pay system the borough implemented in the last PBA contract, police employees hired prior to May 1, 2012, get one set of salaries and those “newbies” hired after May 1, 2012, get another. Both are based on rank and file cops achieving maximum pay after 10 steps.

So factoring in the 2% increase each of the three years of the new contract, the salary guide for cops on the payroll before May 1, 2012, shows, as an example, that the annual base pay for a cop on the third step will rise from the current $50,119 to $53,187 over the life of the contract; annual base pay for a cop on the seventh step will go from the current $67,472 to $71,602; and annual base pay for a cop at the 10th or highest step will climb from the current $80,922 to $85,875.

By contrast, the salary guide for cops hired after May 1, 2012, indicates that annual base pay for a cop on the third step going from the current $33,000 to $35,020 over the life of the contract; annual base pay for a cop on the seventh step, from the current $55,000 to $58,366; and annual base pay for a cop on the 10th step, from the current $70,000 to $74,285.

For those superior officers hired after May 1, 2012, sergeants will see their annual base pay increase from the current $82,980 to $88,059; lieutenants, from $89,618 to $95,103; and captains, from $95,426 to $101,267.

For those superiors hired prior to May 1, 2012, sergeants’ pay will go from $73,458 to $76,426; lieutenants, from $80,228 to $83,469; and captains, from $86,153 to $89,634.

Currently, the ENPD has no rank filled that’s higher than sergeant, except for chief.

Those cops eligible for health insurance coverage, provided through Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.J., are required by contract “to pay 30% of all usual and customary charges after the deductible is met up to a maximum out-of-pocket cost (including deductible) of $4,000 for individual and $8,000 for family coverage, each calendar year. Out-of- network deductibles shall be $1,000 for single coverage and $2,000 for non-single coverage, per calendar year.”

The borough is obliged “to reimburse bargaining unit employees for any costs incurred pursuant to the 30% requirement … [but] the [borough] is not obligated, however, to reimburse the employee for the first $500 of the $1,000 single or the first $1,000 of the $2,000 non-single deductible, whichever is applicable.”

Cops hired after May 1, 2012, are eligible for single benefits only.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff