Centerville’s new police union is finalizing its first contract with the city

A collective bargaining agreement with the Ohio Patrolmen s Benevolent Association has been passed by City Council.
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A collective bargaining agreement with the Ohio Patrolmen s Benevolent Association has been passed by City Council.

The first union for the City of Centerville Police Department was organized last year, and now the city council is in the final steps of approving a collective bargaining agreement with the group.

The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said the police department connected with the group early in 2017 for representation, and negotiations with the city began began in the fall. OPBA represents police departments and law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio.

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The city council has approved a measure that would make the CBA official, and the agreement will become final pending signatures from all of the parties involved in the negotiations, according to city officials.

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“After about nine months of working with OPBA, we voted to approve a measure approving the CBA after all the signatures are there to make it official,” said City Manager Wayne Davis. “Certainly the first thing people look to are salaries. So, what we looked at across the board dating back to the first of the year is that there will be a 2.75 percent increase for 2018, 2.75 increase for 2019 and then 2.5 percent for 2020 for a three-year contract.”

Making sure that the police union gets a seat at the table as part of the city’s new internal approach to health insurance was also included.

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“Health insurance is always a challenge. But what we’ve put in place here is a team-based approach to be instituted,” Davis said. “So, we will begin by developing a Health Care Benefits Committee, and we will have representation at all levels and all departments in the city. These departments including the police will have ownership and management of health insurance.”

He added that the city goes year-to-year when addressing health insurance, but the internal structure of having all departments weigh in on the issue is something new.

“So, we built that structure and put that into place and look forward to working on it in the upcoming years,” Davis said.

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Joe Hegedus, spokesperson for the OPBA, said he’d be surprised if there’s another city or department the size of Centerville that is not represented.

Membership in OPBA is limited to duly appointed, sworn police and law enforcement officers, correction officers and dispatchers of governmental or quasi-governmental police departments or police agencies or retired officers or dispatchers, located within Ohio, according to the organization’s website.

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