Saint John police union agrees on contract
After months of negotiations, the police union in Saint John, N.B., has finally agreed on a new contract with the city.
Officers have been working without a contract since June.
The officers won't see a pay raise for at least the next two years if the contract they agreed to Friday night is approved by the board of police commissioners.
All city workers are facing wage freezes and reduced pension benefits as Saint John struggles to make up a $129-million deficit in its pension plan.
In November, the city said it was at risk of having assets seized if it did not make an overdue $5-million payment on its pension fund.
Though the police force initially opposed the city's plan, union president Jamie Hachey said members do understand that Saint John is facing an economic crisis.
"I sat with the chief of police and the representative from the board and their negotiating team, and collectively we've agreed," said Hachey.
"With the economic crisis the city of Saint John is in, they were able to come to a mutual arrangement that is beneficial for the operations of the police force and beneficial to our members."
Hachey said the board of police commissioners should vote on the new contract in the next few weeks.