Omaha police contract talks
stall over pay increases

(OMAHA) -- Contract negotiations between the City of Omaha and the police union have reached an impasse over pay increases, the union president said Friday.

The negotiations that started in May reached a stalemate this week, said Sgt. Tim Andersen.

"We just didn't feel like the percentage increase was big enough, based on figures from comparable cities," Andersen said.

He declined to say exactly how large an increase was being discussed.

Labor Relations Director Tom Marfisi and other city officials declined to comment on the state of negotiations with the union.

The union is preparing to file a complaint with the Nebraska Commission on Industrial Relations, Andersen said.

In considering the union's case, the commission should look closely at what police officers receive in cities that are similar to Omaha in size and demographics, Andersen said.

The city and the union could reopen talks at any time, but if the dispute has to be settled by the commission, a new contract most likely will not be in place by the end of the year, Andersen said.

In that event, Omaha police officers would continue to work under the terms of the expired contract and any changes in the new one would be made retroactively, Andersen said.

As usual, the police union was looking for a three-year contract with the city.

The stoppage of talks is frustrating, Andersen said.

"We didn't want to reach an impasse," he said. "We were optimistic and thought we could come to a fair settlement, but at this time our negotiation team just doesn't feel the package is enough for us to accept."

(iSyndicate; Omaha World-Herald; Nov. 11, 2000). Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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