New Jersey Police Contract Calls For New Officers To Receive $20,000 Less Annual Salary

BOGOTA< NJ &#8211 New police officers will be paid $20,000 less under a new contract that requires them to work for eight years instead of six to reach top pay, and work 12-hour shifts instead of eight-hour tours. The 12-hour shift schedule, implemented as a pilot program in 2009, was made permanent because it had reduced the borough's overtime costs and had resulted in a healthier police workforce, said Detective Jonathan Misskerg, union representative for Lodge 161 of the state Fraternal Order of Police. The new contract, signed last month, is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011, and expires at the end of 2013. The old contract expired on Dec. 31, 2010. The new pact includes no salary increase for 2011, a 1 percent raise this year and a 2 percent raise in 2013, Mayor Patrick McHale said. Under the terms of the old contract, an officer would have received an annual salary of $50,091 for the first 12 months of service. A new officer will now receive $30,091 for his first year. That starting salary applies to two new police officers, Jon Gallipoli Jr. and Ryan Ward, both of whom were hired in January. The lower starting salary brings Bogota into line with the majority of police departments in Bergen County, Misskerg said. Officers also will not qualify for longevity pay until they complete 10 years of service — four more than under the old contract. Misskerg said the main sticking point was money, and that the union made some concessions, though he would not give specifics. Lodge 161 represents 16 Bogota officers, he said. "We understand that times are tough and we took some concessions," he said. "But in taking some concessions, we were hoping to reorganize the department. And the town was able to hire two officers with savings from the schedule and savings from retirements." From The Record.