The Prince George’s County Council and the Prince George’s County Police Civilian Employees Association (PCEA) have reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.
In another example of how the county is streamlining the way it does business. PCEA President Arthur Emery praised the council on how swiftly the two bodies were able to come to an agreement on the deal.
"Once the union and management came to a tentative agreement; this is the fastest I’ve ever seen a contract move along and I’m very pleased,” Emery said at a council hearing on May 15. “I have no reason to believe that it won’t continue.”
The PCEA represents support positions in the police department. This deal makes sure the people behind the people that work to make Prince George’s are fairly compensated for the work they provide.
There will be sacrifices made by employees covered in the agreement though. They will not receive a cost of living increase nor will they receive merit-based increases in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
Despite that, employees will be eligible for two lump-sum payments depending on their start date with the department.
Employees employed as of April 1 will receive a $1,250 payment in the first full pay period in July why those who were employed as of Oct. 1, 2011 will receive an additional $1,000 lump sum payment that will be given the second full pay period after the bill’s adoption.
Emery admitted that while his organization wanted a little more money, he understands that this may have been the best deal possible given the county’s current fiscal situation.
“Obviously, we would’ve liked to seen more done on the base salary, but we understand the situation and we do believe this was the result of letter [Councilwoman Ingrid] Turner read, on this very floor approximately a year ago, encouraging the county executive to get back to the table with the unions,” he said. “Now a $750 bonus has turned into a $2,250 bonus.”
The agreement also states that employees are not required to join the PCEA. However, those who choose not to join will have to pay a monthly service fee to the PCEA. That fee will not surpass the monthly dues that PCEA members are required to pay.
The two sides also agreed on a compensation and benefits package in which the pay scale for these employees was amended.
In the new agreement, employees will be responsible for 27 percent of their optional point-of-service health insurance or 22 percent of their optional HMO. Employees who elect to participate in either program will be responsible for just 12 percent of prescription drug costs. All remaining health costs will be covered by the county.
Both the CBA and the benefits and compensation package passed through the council by 9-0 votes.