FAIRBANKS, AK — Christmas bonuses for Police Department employees are on the agenda for the City Council meeting at 7 tonight at City Hall.
Councilwoman Joy Huntington will introduce a resolution to authorize Christmas bonuses for Public Safety Employees Association members. The PSEA represents the Fairbanks Police Department.
Should Huntington’s resolution pass, full-time PSEA employees would receive $2,000 Christmas bonuses, and part-time employees would receive $1,000 Christmas bonuses. The money would be appropriated from 2016 Police Department salary savings.
Huntington proposed the idea in the last council meeting as a way to show support for the Police Department while the council tries to figure out a solution to the police contract. Huntington voted in favor of appealing the contract dispute between the PSEA and the city to the Alaska Supreme Court.
“Everyone on council is committed to getting the police and dispatch a raise,” Huntington said. “We have to do the right thing, the smart thing, the sustainable thing. It’s a balancing act.”
“I think there’s been a lot of hardy conversation about how we can increase our revenue stream,” Huntington added “We want to give the police department and dispatch a fair contract. I don’t think this particular contract (the contract that was appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court) is the answer.”
Four ordinances will be introduced as well. These ordinances will be voted on at the Dec. 12 City Council meeting:
• Council members Valerie Therrien and Jerry Norum are introducing an ordinance to ratify the disputed labor contract between the City Council and PSEA. This contract has been disputed since November 2014. Since a Superior Court judge’s ruling on the contract in August, both parties have appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.
• Therrien is introducing another ordinance that would pay out $1,281,173 toward PSEA employees. She said this would cover the costs of the PSEA contract in fiscal year 2016.
• Councilman Jerry Cleworth is introducing an ordinance that would establish a Claims, Judgments and Mitigation Insurance Special Revenue Fund.
• Mayor Jim Matherly is introducing the 2017 budget.