Madison has appealed an arbitration award for a police union contract that is retroactive to 2010 because it says the raises awarded are not consistent with the pattern in other contracts, borough attorney Matthew Giacobbe said.
Under the award by arbitrator Robert M. Glasson, the four-year contract, which would apply from Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2013, the top salary step for officers, sergeants and lieutenants would receive raises each year while the lower salary steps would remain frozen.
The top salary step, which applies to officers with more than five years, and the salary for sergeants and lieutenants, would receive raises of 1.5 percent for 2010, and then 2 percent each of the next three years.
Additionally, the award creates a new wage schedule for officers hired after July 15, 2012, adding three more years of service needed to reach the top pay step.
Glasson also awarded a proposal by Madison's police union, PBA Local 92 and the Superior Officers Association, to have overtime paid from the beginning of overtime worked.
Borough officials declined to say what the award and retroactive raises might mean for Madison's budget while the appeals process is ongoing.
PBA President Patrolman Anthony Maccario said "the decision was very fair" and it took into consideration legislation that affected municipal budgets and the arbitration process, even though the new law changing the arbitration process did not apply to this contract.
Maccario said the 1.5 percent raise is offset by legislation requiring public employee contributions to healthcare plans and the 2 percent raises are in line with the 2 percent property tax levy cap for municipalities.
The new wage schedule means it will take new officers 10 years to get top pay instead of seven years, which will save Madison money into the future, he said.
Maccario said he expects employees will continue to contribute more toward benefits.
"Our take home pay will actually be decreasing, probably forever," he said.