The state and Ohio State Troopers Association have reached a tentative contract agreement giving 1,700 state troopers and other employees pay raises amounting to 13.5 percent over three years.
The troopers union is the last of five state employee unions to reach a contract settlement. The union had been working under an extension since the old pact expired on July 1 last year.
Herschel Sigall, general counsel for the troopers association, said the negotiated raises are 2.5 percent, 5 percent and 2.5 percent over three years, plus the equivalent of a 2.8 percent pay increase in the second year of the contract for troopers who meet physical fitness standards. He said that amounts to a 13.5 percent raise on an accrual basis over the life of the contract. The raise package will be about 12 percent for dispatchers who do not qualify for the fitness stipend, Sigall said.
Tom Hoyt, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the agency which handles contract negotiations, confirmed the tentative agreement. He said it is “now in the ratification process and the next steps are approval for the state through the Controlling Board and for the union through a member vote.”
While the contract is the best deal negotiated by any of the five unions, Sigall predicted “rough sailing” in the ratification vote next week.
“We did the best we could at the table. We have submitted a higher dollar package than any of our predecessors. But our people are not illiterate. They can read and do so and think they were not treated as well as they could have been.”
“I can’t tell you as I sit here that this will pass,” Sigall said.
Part of the unhappiness, Sigall said, is that the Kasich administration gave higher-ranking exempt employees raises equivalent to 16.5 percent, compared to the 13.5 percent for troopers. The long-time pattern in state government is for exempt, non-union employees to receive roughly the same pay increases as union employees through contract negotiations.
The state previously settled contracts on similar terms with the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, the largest union with more than 30,000 members; Service Employees International Union District 1199 (3,735 members); the Ohio Education Association (481), and Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio (532).