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Stalemate ends in Tampa police union and city contract negotiations

TAMPA — The Tampa police union and city officials on Thursday reached agreements on two outstanding items in the union contract, ending a monthslong stalemate in negotiations.

The union had wanted active officers to have 24 hours to sign up for extra duty work before reserve officers could sign up for the assignments. City officials objected to that request, saying it wasn't fair to reserve officers. The union capitulated on the provision.

In return, the city gave in on its request for officers to receive a "meets expectations" performance evaluation to maintain the rank of master patrol officer.

The City Council was supposed to vote on both items Wednesday during a public hearing on the contract. But only five council members were present, and neither issue got the four concurring votes needed for resolution.

The votes were rescheduled for Thursday's regular City Council meeting, but the union and Mayor Pam Iorio resolved the disputes themselves.

Iorio and the union hit an impasse in negotiations in July, which put the contract in the hands of the City Council.

Wages were the biggest stumbling block. The union had agreed to forgo cost of living raises for the 2010 fiscal year due to city budget constraints. But it still wanted so-called step increases awarded annually to officers in their first 11 years on the force as they work toward the rank of master patrol officer.

The council voted 5-1 against the raises, with council member Joseph Caetano siding with the police officers and Mary Mulhern absent.

Times staff report

Stalemate ends in Tampa police union and city contract negotiations 12/03/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:13pm]
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