Police pact makes move on pension, health care costs

The City of Williamsport has labor peace with its unionized police force.

And the four-year contract even begins to bring the health care and pensions portion of the city police work rules closer to the reality of today.

The contract puts a cap on pensions by placing them at a first-year officer’s rate of $42,057.

Until now, pensions were based on pay in the final year of an officer’s service, beefing up the pension to the maximum salary level plus overtime costs.

The contract also asks for health care contributions for any new police hires, as the city picks up 80 percent of the costs and the officers must pay up to 20 percent for the first year. The health care contribution changes on a gradual scale as the policeman gains experience.

This still represents a health care plan more employee friendly than most in the private sector today.

The contract calls for raises of 2 percent this year, 2.5 percent for 2014, 2.5 percent for 2015 and 2.5 percent in 2016.

Again, those are percentages more in touch with the typical private sector employee.

The city has a strong, capable police force deserving of support from the administration, taxpayers and residents. This contract represents that and best of all brings labor peace for the most important element of public safety in Williamsport.