Reynoldsburg police officers are in line for a 3% annual raise for the next three years under the terms of a pending collective-bargaining agreement.

Reyoldsburg City Council heard the first reading May 13 of ordinances authorizing the city to enter into two contracts: one between the city and Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9 and the other with the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. The unions represent about 50 police officers, sergeants and lieutenants.

The ordinances are expected to receive three readings, which means council would hear the second reading May 28 and the final reading, followed by a vote, at its June 10 meeting.

If approved, the agreements would be retroactive to Jan. 1 and would extend through Dec. 31, 2021.

"The negotiation process took us deep into 2019, but the result of that is a win-win," police Chief David Plesich said.

"The raises that the officers received allow us to be competitive with other cities our size, so we can still attract the best and the brightest because we're compensating our officers the amount that they should be compensated.

"It's great that the city is in the position to be able to pay them what the market values their services at because if we don't, somebody else will," Plesich said.

In addition to 3% annual raises in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the agreements stipulate that officers are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week on special-duty assignments.

The agreement requires the city to pay the cost of a $100,000 life-insurance policy and offer medical, vision, dental and prescription benefits "on the same basis as this benefit is provided to nonbargaining-unit employees of the city."

City human-resources director Sandra Boller said single coverage costs employees approximately $967 with the city picking up $7,673 annually. Family coverage costs employees approximately $2,441 with the city paying $18,477.72 annually.

According to the contract, the starting pay for police officers would be $28.28 per hour or $58,822 annually in 2019 and would increase to $29.13 per hour or $60,590 annually in 2020 and to $30 per hour or $62,400 annually in 2021.

The pay scale for sergeants under the new contract would be $51.56 an hour or $107,244 annually for 2019; $53.11 per hour or $110,468 annually in 2020; and $54.70 per hour or $113,776 in 2021.

For lieutenants, the pay scale would be $54.78 per hour or $113,926 annually in 2019; $56.42 per hour or $117,353 annually in 2020; and $58.12 per hour or $120,868 annually in 2021.

The contract also provides for members of both unions to be paid annual service credits of $750 if they have worked four to six years; $850 if they have worked seven to nine years; $1,050 for 10 to 14 years; $1,200 for 15 to19 years; and $1,300 for 20 years or more.

At-large Councilman Barth Cotner, who chairs council's finance committee, said Reynoldsburg is in a "strong fiscal and developmental state."

"Our community places a priority on safety and knows it is important to make sure that Reynoldsburg is able to both recruit and retain the best officers," he said. "I'm thankful we got this completed. ... An investment in our police department will go far in promoting and protecting our renewed Reynoldsburg."

Council's May 28 and June 10 meetings are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 7232 E. Main St.

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