Crest OKs new three-year police contract

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 WILDWOOD CREST – The borough and its police union inked a three-year contract on Dec. 27 that officials say will save the municipality money.

The new contract started Jan. 1 and expires Dec. 31, 2015. It affects the borough’s 16 police officers, but does not include the police chief, captain or lieutenant.

Borough Administrator Kevin Yecco said the long term savings for the borough will be considerable.

According to Yecco, contract negotiations were quick and didn’t need to go into arbitration.

“We saved $20,000 in attorney’s fee alone,” he said.

“The bargaining team for the PBA [Policemen's Benevolent Association] was very understanding of the weight that all the benefits were putting on the taxpayers,” he said.

“In these economic times tax payers can’t afford the status quo. Changes have to be made long term,” Yecco added.

The wage increase for the borough over the life of the contract is 2.03 percent or $85,959. Yecco said in return, Wildwood Crest got seven give-backs that were to the borough’s benefit.

Under the new contract, salaries will start at $30,150. In 2009, when the last contract was negotiated, salaries started at $41,200.

It will also take officers longer to move up through the ranks to higher salaries. This contract changed the number of steps to reach the highest pay rate from eight to 19 according to the wage guide.

The contract will also require officers to contribute more toward their health insurance. Employees hired after Jan. 1, 2011, will also pay 3 percent toward their health insurance. Those hired before Dec. 31, 2010 will continue to pay 1.5 percent toward health insurance.

Sick leave payouts were reduced from $19,750 to $15,000 and a yearly cap on vacation hours has been cut from 240 hours to 200 hours after 20 years of service. That means new officers will be working more days and that cuts down on the borough’s cost for additional overtime, Yecco said.

Longevity and college credit pay have also been eliminated from the contract, but in return some lower level employees will see their salaries increase with additional payments to make up for the loss of those benefits.

Lauren Suit can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at shorenewstoday.com.


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