M'ville FOP accepts offer to increase police pay

2014-01-17T19:15:00Z 2014-01-17T21:24:08Z M'ville FOP accepts offer to increase police payChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
January 17, 2014 7:15 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Merrillville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 168 has accepted a proposal that will increase officer pay by $10,000 over the next three years.

Curtis Minchuk, president of Lodge 168, said town leaders were notified of the FOP's decision Friday.

"Their offer worked out," Minchuk said.

Lodge 168 members will vote to ratify the proposal during Wednesday's meeting, Minchuk said. The council also would need to officially approve the proposal so it could go into effect, Town Councilman Ron Widing said earlier this week.

In November, Lodge 168 asked the council for multiple changes, including a $10,000 pay increase that would happen this year.

The council's proposal, which was given to the FOP Tuesday, provides officers a $6,000 raise this year, a $2,000 raise in 2015 and a $2,000 raise in 2016.

The proposal also would change longevity pay for officers, which currently ends after 20 years of service. Minchuk said the council's proposal would cap longevity pay at 30 years of service.

Town Councilman Tom Goralczyk on Friday confirmed he received a verbal and written commitment from the FOP regarding its decision.

"The $10,000 is a strong offer," Goralczyk said.

Minchuk said Lodge 168 appreciates the offer and the "hard work" of town leaders.

The council wasn't able to meet other requests made by Lodge 168, such as an additional day off each month for officers who work 12-hour shifts and including police retirees in the town's health insurance plan. The requests couldn't be met because of financial reasons, Widing said.

"Maybe we can revisit those at a later date," Minchuk said.

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