Omaha Public Radio News
Mon March 8, 2010
Omaha Councilmen present amendments to police union contract
By Katie Knapp Schubert
Omaha, NE – Omaha City Councilmen want the city's Police Union to give more in pension contributions and shorten the length of a new contract.
City Councilmen introduced amendments Monday morning to the newly-negotiated Police Union contract. The City Council's proposal is for a three-year deal. Both sides would contribute 31 percent toward the pension system. The Council's plan calls for the police union to contribute an additional 1.4 percent starting in 2011. Council President Garry Gernandt says requiring the union to give more in contributions because of pension spiking is fair. Gernandt believes pension spiking was never fully benefited in the pension system, so the cost shouldn't be shared equally. The city would, however, share equally in resolving the remainder of the debt.
Police Union president Aaron Hanson is critical of the Council's decision to go public with a new plan. Hanson says the issues involved are difficult and should be handled behind closed doors. He would not comment on specifics of the plan, saying that's something that should be discussed outside the public forum.
Mayor Jim Suttle issued a statement saying he doesn't object to the Council's amendments so long as the proposals are fair and legal.
New negotiations will be needed before the contract is approved. Councilmen hope to vote on it April 13th.