Madison Appeals Police Contract Arbitration Award

Borough says raises not consistent with other contracts.

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.

Patrick Franklin July 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Bill Kingston July 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Steve, not supporting an argument either way here but just curious - do teachers in NYC make more than teachers here because it is a more dangerous job for them and certainly more expensive to live in the city? Either way, elected officials responsible for approving contracts have a choice in what is paid to their employees for the most part and may decide to pay for more staff in any depeartment/position to provide better services to their constituents. You could then say there are "too many" employees which is costing the taxpayer and they could be paid below average but by total numbers it costs more overall than a smaller staff paid over the average salary. What level of service do you want delivered/expect vs cost? You can argue this point forever. But in the end, I wouldn't blame employees - they didn't hold a gun to any elected official to get raises/benefits in a contract - they were approved by elected officials.
Patrick Franklin July 27, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Patrick Franklin July 27, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Patchisarag July 27, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Steve, just curious but how do you know that the Police demanded arbitration?
Bill Kingston July 27, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Thanks for the links Patrick. Looks like about a wash without deep analysis. So does that validate my point? Not sure. I wonder how Madison's class size, test scores and overall quality of the education experience compares against NYC schools? Have those links too Patrick?
Steve Wells July 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Because the Borough refused to give increases due to the recession.
Patrick Franklin July 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM
http://www.madisonpublicschools.org/51454103114833/site/default.asp http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2011/11/15/class-sizes-grew-again-new-city-figures-show/
Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Someone owes the PBA an apology - http://madison.patch.com/articles/teachers-contract-provides-19-average-salary-increase. Incredibly, the Great One was actually there (see first photo and quote in the story). In his ongoing crusade to bash the police, he must have forgotten the event.
Steve Wells July 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Read the 4th graf of the article you reference. You've got your years mixed up. The "net zero" wage freeze was the same year the PBA refused to do likewise.
Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 06:39 PM
My "years" are spot on: Looks like PBA got 1.5% in 2010, MEA 1.523%. In 2011, PBA received 2.0%, MEA 2.25% plus $80,000 (no idea how much that would goose the % increase). Finally, in 2012, PBA gets 2.0%, MEA 1.95%. If the articles' data is accurate, the teachers received a higher % increase over three years than the PBA did! Regarding your last response, a little Patch research shows that the teachers agreed to a freeze for the 2010/11 school year, not "last year" (2009?) as the 4th graf incorrectly notes - http://madison.patch.com/articles/teachers-union-agrees-to-wage-freeze. As confirmation of the timing, check this story, which was filed shortly after the one about the teachers, about the FMBA accepting a freeze - http://madison.patch.com/articles/fire-union-agrees-to-two-year-wage-freeze. They were the real heroes, accepting a TWO year freeze. According to the previous article, what the teachers agreed to was a virtual freeze, "That was based on the 1.5 percent increase being offset by the 1.5 percent contribution each employee is currently making toward the cost of health coverage. The combination equaled a net take home increase of zero." Thus, the PBA 1.5% increase matches the MEA's 1.523%. Not taking a "freeze" appears to have gained the police nothing compared to their education counterparts.
Patchisarag July 28, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Steve, one more question. If your employer basically told you that you were going to take a pay cut what you be happy? Would you accept that without exploring options or would you just roll over?
Steve Wells July 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Some of what you say is correct, but you miss the two key points: a given % increase of the average police salary equates to far more actual $ than the same given % of the average teacher's salary, AND teachers and firemen voluntarily agreed to a net wage freeze while the police and DPW didn't. Bottom line is you either have a Council that brings these municipal payrolls down to earth, or you suck it up and don't complain about paying higher taxes. No more comments in response to phantoms.
Anonymous July 28, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Still unable to admit defeat. Too bad. 100% of what I wrote is true, and your whole premise, that the police did better than the teachers and firefighters because they held out, is 100% false. Of course someone who makes more $$ will get more $$ when increases are percentages of base pay, that holds true for a teacher making $100K as it does for a policeman or firefighter. Duh! As for "bring(ing) these municipal payrolls down to earth," the only way that happens is with fewer employees. No union is going to agree to cut pay its pay (it's even amazing that the borough got them to cut their HC benefit), nor will any arbitrator give the borough that relief. If you want to know how this got out of hand, refer to page 39 and check out the previous two contract awards - 4.25%, 4.25%, 4.0%, 3.9%, 4.0%, 4.0% & 4.0%, all at a time when inflation was extremely low. Then consider which candidate for council was in the majority party approving all those outsized increases. So why would anyone vote for Ms.Baillie AGAIN??
Full Monty July 28, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Steve are you even a taxpayer in Madison? Last time I checked you are renting.
Bob July 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I don't understand why everyone complains about police, fire dept and dpw making to much money or they shouldn't have raises etc .... These are public jobs go get an application and get a job there yourself if you think they are making to much money , who is stopping you from applying?
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 30, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Same bogus argument that's made every time someone points out how over compensated many/most/all public sector employees are. Since we are paying their salaries and benefits we are allowed to weigh-in on the total costs, and the ridiculous increases we get hit with after every contract is settled.
Patchisarag July 30, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Just curious but do you really know how much of an increase?
Madisonmatters July 30, 2012 at 02:36 AM
To say the risk is higher for NYC cops verses Madison is not really true. If there are 3 cops on the road at any given time in Madison (which is the new norm), those cops have far greater exposure to risk. For example if there are two calls going on in town at any given time that means one officer has no backup without calling another town. In NYC there are 10,000 cops working at any given time and backup is almost always available. Also, NYC cops work with partners and are never going into a situation alone. Its pretty easy for you (Steve) to sit there and say its not dangerous, but when was the last time you pulled a car over at 2 in the morning knowing the driver has warrants and you have no backup availble for 5-10min? This goes on all the time in Madison.
Bob July 30, 2012 at 03:22 AM
@didyoujustsaythat..... Have you ever considered that most of these cops, fire fighters and Dpw employees live in town as well and are paying the taxes too ... So again if you think it's over compensated go to town hall grab an application
Bill Kingston July 30, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Looking back, best I can tell is that the Fire Dept was the only group that accepted "true" zeros. Yes, there was some insulation on health care contributions, but the teachers had the same insulation and also received % raises. The Fire Dept also accept a reduced health care plan, which the teachers did not - the teachers retained their same benefits and that's acceptable to me. And in terms of service from the PD and FD, which I have had to utilize over the years due to weather conditions, if you call for either, they are there within a couple minutes. I'm thankful for those response times and you don't get that in many places in this area, especially with a volunteer fire dept. I'm willing to pay for those types of repsonse times and if you ever need(ed) it.....you would have a diffferent attitude towards its superior value vs its relatively affordable cost if you live in Madsion.
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 30, 2012 at 05:37 AM
You can't be serious. Statistically, NYC cops have weapons drawn on them, get assaulted, and killed in the line of duty INFINITELY more times than suburban cops. Policing can be a dangerous business wherever you are, but comparing NYC to Madison is a joke.
Patrick Franklin July 30, 2012 at 05:38 AM
I agree with some of what you're saying and I think the MPD should be paid better. To say MPDs risk is nearly as high as NYC is moronic. Look in the paper and see how many people get shot and how many cops get hurt every day. If NYC cops worked alone they would be killed more often Look at the list of NYC cops that die on duty, its a long one. Most NYC cops have handled more in one month than a MPD officer will see in a career. When was the last shooting in Madison? Last homicide? These are daily events in NYC, and thankfully are not here. I respect the MPD and will always say they should be compensated well, but lets stick to reality.
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 30, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Irrelevant, and still the same bad argument you've made before. All taxpayers have the right to demand that their money is being well spent, WITHOUT having to "grab an application."
Bob July 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM
@ didureallyjustsaythat.... My point is 100% relevant, your implying that public employees are over paid and if that's the way you feel im telling you to go get a public job , and if you did have a public job you wouldn't be making remarks about overcompensation would you?
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Interesting concept - Only public sector employees get to comment on public sector salaries and benefits. May be the dumbest comment posted on the Patch this year. Then again, I guess it is how someone who is collecting a taxpayer based paycheck "thinks!"
Bob August 01, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Not exactly , obviously your jealous of people that do collect a taxpayer based paycheck if you can't grasp the simple fact that all I am telling you to do is get a public job if you think they over being over compensated for the "little" amount of work they do ..... Not even gonna waste my time arguing about something I stated , again applications are online or probably in town hall somewhere
DidUReallyJustSayThat August 01, 2012 at 03:18 PM
It's easy to grasp your point, unfortunately, it's just dumb. Everyone has a right to demand that the money they pay for a product or service is fair. In the private sector, because of competition, it is. In the public sector, however, unless a service is outsourced, there is no competition to keep the cost of the service "honest," and union demands have no basis in reality, especially in difficult economic times. Your point about picking up a broom, or shutting up, demonstrates the typical attitude of public sector employees - No one should question the value they deliver, or their demands for outsized wages and benefits. Those days are OVER. As for " the 'little' amount of work they do," must be a Freudian slip on your part, I never questioned that effort, just the compensation.
Bob August 01, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Nope that is not a slip , nor is my point dumb , and when people say over compensated it generally implys their salary isn't worth the work they do which is why i said "little amount" so yet again your accusations towards me are wrong .... Reason why this bothers me is because I have friends and family in public jobs and this is all they hear , ppl always have to run their mouths that they are over paid and don't do anything
DidUReallyJustSayThat August 01, 2012 at 04:29 PM
With apologies to Wm. Shakespeare, "the dude doth protest too much, methinks."


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something