Gilford Police approve new contract

GILFORD — Members of the police union and the town have agreed to a two-year contract that will see a hike of a minimum of 15 cents in the lowest pay grade, but will make employees responsible for 10 percent of their health insurance costs.

Employee contributions will be made on a pre-tax basis.

The maximum pay increase is 2½ percent unless the officer is promoted to a corporal in which case there is a maximum 3½  percent increase. Currently, Gilford Police have no corporals.

The cost drivers in the contract — or the new money needed to fund the contract — is $3,297.31 in the first year of the contract and an additional $3,463.01 in the second year.

These amounts will appear as a single warrant article on the ballot at the the March Annual Town meeting ballot. The amount cannot be altered at the annual SB2 deliberative session.

By year two, the town will see a decrease in the amount it spends on employee health insurance for union police officers of $2,382.90.

Gilford Police are represented by Teamsters Local 633 of New Hampshire.

The contract also contains a new provision allowing officers who have been with the department for five years to cash out unused sick time exceeding 192 hours at a rate of one day for every four days of unused time — or 25 percent.

Officers with 10 years of seniority or more will be able to cash out accumulated sick time at a rate of two days per four earned — or 50 percent.

A final clause says that while it is the exclusive prerogative of the Chief of Police to determine shift staffing levels or to fill vacant shifts with members of the bargaining unit, new language says the selectmen must give their approval.