It only took two bargaining sessions for River Forest village officials and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 46 to reach agreement on a new three-year contract.
Village board members ratified the contract by unanimous vote of the five trustees present at their April 24 meeting. Bob O’Connell did not attend. The action was approved as part of the consent agenda with no discussion. The FOP membership approved the contract April 13.
“I am very pleased about the work that was done under the leadership of police Chief Jim O’Shea,” Village President Cathy Adduci said. “We have a good relationship with our police union and great respect for each other.”
The new contract, which took effect May 1, was actually ratified before the previous contract had expired April 30.
Under the new contract, the 28 FOP members each will receive a 3.25 percent salary increase in each of the three years.
“I was thrilled to get it done so quickly,” Village Administrator Matt Walsh said. “We had a very productive discussion and just hammered it out.”
In addition to the salary increase, the new contract provides extra pay for specialty duty and an increase in the uniform allowance. In addition, 12 longer tenured sworn officers will receive longevity bonuses. Health insurance contributions will remain unchanged from the previous contract.
In a memo to Walsh, Trish Ivansek, human resources director, explained that a survey of 15 villages by staff members revealed that River Forest’s rate of pay for a new officer was lower than that of other comparable villages, leading to a change in the new contract.
The village’s public works maintenance workers and water operators are working without a contract, the previous contract having expired in 2022. Walsh said village officials are negotiating with Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, which represents the public works employees.
The village’s contract with River Forest Firefighters Local 2391 does not expire until 2024.