Still no ruling on Orland Park police pact
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2013 10:13PM
Updated: April 22, 2013 12:08PM
It will be at least another month before Orland Park and the union representing its patrol officers find out when an arbitrator will rule on a new police contract.
Officers represented by Local 159 of the Metropolitan Alliance of Police have been without a new contract since May 1, 2011. Negotiations last year initially involved a mediator, with both sides going to arbitration last fall.
A hearing before the arbitrator was held this month, and both sides are to submit written briefs to the arbitrator by April 26, according to Joe La Margo, the village’s public information officer. Once the briefs are submitted, the arbitrator is expected to indicate when a ruling will be issued, he said.
Financial issues, including pay raises and health insurance costs, had been major sticking points during negotiations.
The union sought raises totaling 10 percent over four years while the village offered 8.5 percent over that period, according to village manager Paul Grimes. The 8.5 percent raise is the same provided in a contract ratified last year between the village and police supervisors.
In December, not knowing what the outcome of arbitration would be, village officials allocated money in the 2013 village budget based on the salary offer to the police union.
In negotiating new contracts with other unionized employees last year, the village required that workers shoulder more of the cost of their medical insurance — using incentives to steer them away from higher-cost, preferred-provider plans toward more consumer-directed and managed care plans.
A police union official had expressed concern that higher employee insurance premiums would more than offset the pay raise offered by the village.