Cobourg uniform police settle contract

By Robert Washburn

Cobourg police officers and police services board reached a three-year deal to give its 32 officers a 6.75 per cent raise retroactive to January.

For the average first class officer, who makes $79,278, it will mean a $5,351 increase by the end of the contract in 2013 for a total of $84,629. There are no changes to the length of service increases. These are given to officers who have served three, six or nine years.

The contracts for the civilian workers, senior officers, chief and deputy chief are still under negotiation, said Cobourg police chief Paul Sweet.

“The one thing that is unique about this contract is that there is no catch up clause at the end,” he said.

Sweet said the recent OPP contract provided its force of over 6,000 uniformed officers signed a three-year deal recently with a five per cent increase in the first year, but zero in the subsequent two years. A first class OPP officer will receive $83,425 by 2013, up from the current $79,451.

However, the provincial government guaranteed an across-the-board wage increase of 8.5 per cent on March 1, 2014, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014, making the OPP the highest paid officers in Ontario.

Sweet said the current contract bring the local officers in line with similar forces, but not comparable to other larger municipalities like Toronto.

Toronto police officers signed a contract earlier this month with an 11.5 per cent increase over the next four years, making them the highest paid force in Canada. A Metro Toronto first class officer will earn $90,623 in 2014, up from the current $81,249.

In 2008, when the last deal was signed, Cobourg police officers received a 10 per cent increase when it signed a three-year contract.