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Middletown Borough Council agreement over issues in 2015, 2016 might lead to new police contract

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 12/13/17

 

Middletown Borough Council on Dec. 5 took a step toward resolving some of the issues that have been in the way of moving forward on a new contract with the borough police …

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Middletown Borough Council agreement over issues in 2015, 2016 might lead to new police contract

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Middletown Borough Council on Dec. 5 took a step toward resolving some of the issues that have been in the way of moving forward on a new contract with the borough police association.

But whether anything comes of it remains to be seen.

Council after a closed door executive session approved 6-0 its offer of a proposed agreement on resolving wage and health care issues for the association covering 2015 and 2016.

However, the council motion made the offer conditional on the police association acting on the proposed agreement by Friday, Dec. 8.

That didn’t happen. The association instead scheduled a “reopener” meeting for early Tuesday morning, Dec. 12, to consider the offer from council.

The outcome of that meeting is not known. Middletown police Officer Mark Hovan, the association president, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Council Vice President Dawn Knull, who represents council in negotiations with the association, could not say if the association’s decision to not act by Dec. 8 will nullify the offer.

“Council will need to address the association’s failure to ratify the agreement by the deadline at our next meeting,” Knull said in an email to the Press & Journal on Monday.

Council’s next meeting was to be Dec. 19. However, council moved the meeting to Wednesday, Dec. 20, to allow enough time to re-advertise the proposed 2018 budget, before council takes final action on the spending plan.

If the association ratifies the offer, that could mean “we have a meeting of the minds,” Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter said after council’s Dec. 5 vote.

Details of the council offer were not disclosed. Klinepeter said that terms of the proposed deal were laid out during the closed-door session by Solicitor Adam Santucci. The terms reflected a tentative agreement Santucci had reached with his counterpart attorney representing the police association, Klinepeter noted.

Middletown police officers have not received a pay raise since July 2014. The last contract between the borough and the association expired at the end of December 2012.

The July 2014 pay increase was called for in an arbitration award.