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Latest News - November 2014

November 25, 2014
City's police dispatchers receive new, 3-year contract

Upper Arlington's police dispatchers have a new contract in place that spells out raises ranging from 2 percent to 2.75 percent over three years.

According to a representative of the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council Inc., the dispatchers also have agreed to the contract and it's set to go into effect Jan. 1.The new deal will provide wage increases of 2.5 percent in 2015, 2.75 percent in 2016 and 2 percent in 2017.In keeping with past contracts, there also will be no cap on premium contributions for the dispatchers' medical insurance."I think the new contract is extremely fair and appropriate," said Tracy Rader, a staff representative for the FOP, Ohio Labor Council Inc., which represents the dispatchers.

Upper Arlington City Council voted 6-0, with Councilman Mike Schadek absent, to approve a tentative agreement during a special meeting Nov. 17. The vote was taken without comment after council members emerged from a closed-door session that lasted approximately five minutes.According to Cathe Armstrong, Upper Arlington's director of finance and administrative services, there are seven police dispatchers in the union who will be affected by the new contract. She added that the police division's 911 line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and staffing often is supplemented with part-time employees.

"The total (annual) cost of operating the center is approximately $1 million," Armstrong said. "The (additional) cost of the new contract over three years will be $68,000."A staff report to council on the new contract stated the city negotiated additional terms regarding layoff and compensation "if the employee remains employed with Upper Arlington up and until any layoff."ThisWeek Upper Arlington News requested a copy of the portion of the contract addressing those terms on Nov. 19, and asked for a status update of the city's ongoing consideration of a potential merger of its police dispatch center with an outside call center, but Upper Arlington Community Affairs Coordinator Emma Speight said City Manager Ted Staton was out last week and the information was not provided as of Nov. 24. .

Upper Arlington has conducted two studies in recent years to explore a merger of its police dispatch services with other municipalities, and Staton said as recently as this fall that his office expected to bring an update to council in the near future.In the meantime, the city of Dublin has entered into an agreement to take over emergency-services dispatching for Hilliard and Norwich Township, which provides fire and emergency-medical service to Hilliard.



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