After working for two years without a contract, the union representing Forest Park police has agreed to a new three-year contract with the village.
Under the new contract, employees will receive a 2 percent salary increase, retroactive to 2015, and a 2 percent increase, retroactive to 2016, then a 2.5 percent increase this year.
The Forest Park Village Council voted unanimously to approve the contract at Monday’s meeting following an hour-long closed session. The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, representing Forest Park patrol officers and sergeants, had previously approved the contract.
The agreement leaves those in the village’s Public Works Department as the only employees without a contract. The village agreed to a three-year contract with the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in February 2016 and a contract with the union representing Firefighters Local 2753 in September 2015.
“We are pleased to have the bargaining matter concluded so we can continue on with the business of the village,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said, noting that the major point of contention during negotiations, which he described as “amicable,” was salaries.
“In the past eight or nine years, it’s been mostly about wages,” he explained, saying that he believes Forest Park police salaries are now “pretty even” with those of other neighboring municipalities.
Calderone said the contract was negotiated without the need for mediation or arbitration, indicating the gap between the end of the old contract and the settlement of a new one was due to scheduling issues.
“A big chunk of the delay was getting the schedules of both sides to cooperate,” he said.
“Both sides are a little bit unhappy,” Calderone said. “But I view it as a success for both sides when you’re at the bargaining table.”