Police contract talks upbeat with another meeting planned

In this March 2, 2016, file photo, Cornwall Police Board vice chairman Pat Finucan listens to another member of the board. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Representatives from the police board and the union will sit down again in two weeks to attempt to reach a new deal.

After the Cornwall Community Police Services Board and the Cornwall Police Association met for two days last week (April 4-5, 2016), both sides are optimistic about their progress.

Cornwall police board member Pat Finucan is confident a deal could be done before the end of the month.

Echoing that is Cornwall Police Association President Dave MacLean, who told Cornwall Newswatch the talks have been going “pretty well.”

After negotiating three collective agreements, MacLean described the latest round of bargaining as the smoothest he’s experienced.

Both sides are scheduled to meet again for most of the day on April 25, 2016.

The unionized members of the police force – including front-line officers, office staff and dispatchers – have been without a contract since the end of 2015.

The last collective agreement had increases of 2.75 per cent in 2013, 2.5 per cent in 2014 and 1.5 per cent in 2015.

The contract also removed the unfunded liability of allowing officers to bank and then cash out sick time.

At the end of the last year, an entry-level, first-class constable was making $90,475.

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