LAWTON, OK (TNN) - New police union contracts were announced at the Lawton City Council meeting on Monday. Not only did the City of Lawton and the Lawton Police Union approve a contract for this year, which started last July, they also went ahead and approved next year’s contract, which will start this July.
Last year’s contract should have gone into effect July of 2018. It was eight months past due because an agreement could not be reached between the city and the Police Union.
Ideally, a contract would already be approved before the current contract ends, but that has not been the case for Lawton police contracts within most of the last decade.
“Signing the contract early and having it in place by July first of this coming up year, that’s exciting for us, because this is typically does not happen," said Clay Houseman, president of Local 24 IUPA. "I’ve been a board member for the past eight to ten years and I cannot remember a time that we’ve done that. That’s a huge step forward for both of us, the city council and us.”
Getting the two contracts approved is a weight lifted off both parties' shoulders.
A statement from the assistant city manager, Bart Hadley said quote:
"We are pleased to have reached a two year agreement with the Police Union. This is a progressive and positive step forward in public safety for the City of Lawton."
Some of the contract details include:
A five percent increase in the top step of every rank, and current rates set for health insurance premiums and benefits.
“We’ve been trying to bargain and create a package, a total package, that would be comparable to these other cities around the state of our police department size to create a package that is comparable so that we don’t lose officers," said Houseman. "This year, we’ve kind of taken a really good step forward because the package that has been designed for last year and the upcoming year has taken a step forward. So, we’ve progressed.”
A copy of agreements reached can be found at lawtonok.gov.