City, Police Agree on New Contract

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The Hermiston City Council approved a new three-year contract between the city and the Hermiston Police Association (HPA) at Monday’s council meeting.

The new contract, which takes effect on July 1, includes pay increases, new incentive pay, greater contributions by union members for health insurance premiums, as well as other provisions.

Negotiations between the HPA and the city began in December and came to a tentative agreement on Jan. 15.

Among the contract’s provisions include wage increases of 2.75 percent, 2.75 percent and 2.5 percent over the next three years.

The new contract also removes the residency requirement which don’t pass legal muster and replaces it with an annual $500 incentive for union members who live in Hermiston for the full previous year.

Other incentives include an increase in the bilingual incentive pay by 5 percent and an additional $250 per month for members who are certified deputy medical examiners and drug recognition experts or are SWAT members, reserve coordinators or firearms instructors.

The HPA and city will also work together to develop an updated wellness program for members.

The contact also calls for union members’ contributions for health insurance premiums to increase each of the next three years beginning with a 4.5 percent increase in July, a 7 percent increase in 2020 and a 10 percent increase in 2021.

Hermiston Mayor Dave Drotzmann gave credit to both sides for coming to an agreement in such a short time.

“The police department got some concessions, the city got some concessions,” he said. “Sounds like a win-win for everyone.”

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