Omaha City Council approves police union contract

Omaha, NE – Omaha City Councilmen voted Tuesday afternoon to approve a new contract with the Police Officers Association.

The three-year agreement requires each officer to contribute an additional one-point-eight percent of pay, $1300 a year, toward the pension system. Base pay is now used to calculate pensions for new and future Omaha police officers. City officials say the new contract ends the practice of pension spiking.

The contract also raises the minimum age to receive full pension benefits to 50 for current officers and 55 for future officers. The city's contribution to the pension system is reduced during 2010 and 2011.

Twice as many opponents as supporters of the contract spoke during a public hearing last week. Among the concerns were that the contract doesn't represent real reform and doesn't end the practice of spiking. Supporters say pension spiking will continue unless the new agreement is passed.

The police union could start voting on the contract next Monday.