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Orland Park Police Union Pres. ‘Disappointed’ in Slow Negotiations

Contract talks between the Village of Orland Park and Metropolitan Alliance of Police Chapter 159 continue well past a year since the officers’ previous contract officially ended.

With arbitration closely approaching, the president of an Orland Park police union expressed frustration in a lack of progress in contract negotiations, well over a year since the contract expired.

Members of Metropolitan Alliance of Police Chapter 159 have been working without a current contract since May 2011. Arbitration was first planned for last February, but was later moved to September 12.

MAP 159 President Ron Ahrendt described a July 2 mediation meeting as a “very disappointing experience,” mainly because talks focused on health insurance, which was the cause of .

“ seemed ill prepared for the mediation process, providing no comparisons to justify ground breaking triple digit percentage increases for employee medical insurance premium costs,” Ahrendt wrote in a release. “The end result, nothing was accomplished.”

According to Ahrendt, the village is looking for a 625 percent increase in premium costs for HMO recipients and a 235 percent increase in premiums for members under a PPO, with a 1.5 percent increase in pay.
While specifics were not cited, Ahrendt indicated in February that the union is pursuing a contract similar to what they worked under for about the last four years.

Ahrendt also was critical of dropping comp time for officers in lieu of overtime, when other village employees still can use comp time. He said it saved the village about $920,000 between 2001 and 2007 rather than spending on overtime.

“If the police officers are “unsustainable” as the village proclaims, why did they reject our offer to freeze our contract for one year?” Ahrendt wrote. “The village's proposed health insurance premium costs, while only giving officers a 1.5% increase in pay, would cause our officers to make less money annually.”

Village Public Information Officer Joe LaMargo did not have information on whether other employees are using comp time, and why they are still doing so, as of Wednesday evening.

“The Village is currently in interest arbitration proceedings with MAP, and these proceedings were initiated by MAP,” LaMargo wrote in an email. “The Village does not believe that it is productive to bargain through the media, and the arbitrator explicitly requested that both parties refrain from negotiating in public during this period of arbitration. As such, the Village will provide no further comment at this time.”

In February, Village Manager Paul Grimes said the proposals for health care coverage costs was similar to all other village employees.

“We want our employees to have more skin in the game regarding health care,” Grimes said in February. “That’s the same position we have for everyone. We want to get back to the bargaining table. We think we can get to an agreement. We’re getting to agreements with our other bargaining units.”

Ahrendt also referenced the , the , as signs that the village should be on sure enough financial foot to negotiate.

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Landmark Flooring September 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM
We support our local police officers in thier quest for a fair contract. As a local business owner and resident of Orland Park I call on the village to settle this contract. We have had many officers support our store and other local businesses in the area. Its only fair Orland Park that you step up to the plate and take care of our people!
John Fotopoulos September 06, 2012 at 04:35 PM
The Orland Park police officers deserve a contract. One year without a contract is unacceptable. Mr. Grimes wants the officers to have more skin in the game for health insurance. I suggest Mr. Grimes gets more skin from the apartment developer in the triangle development. The officers put their life on the line everyday for our protection. I think thats enough skin.
Arthur Huff September 06, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The current contract (at least I think it's the current contract) is posted on the Orland Park website here: http://il-orlandpark.civicplus.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=2992 There you can view the current insurance premiums the officers are paying. As of 2010 they are listed at $190 for family PPO and $25 for family HMO. If my math is correct that means the Village is proposing those costs increase to $446.50 for family PPO and $156.25 for family HMO. Do I have that right? Can The Patch confirm these numbers?
Me September 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I believe you are also a fireman. Local businessmen and employees that pay for their own insurance have taken an incredible hit in insurance, not to mention economy ect... its time for everyone to pony up their fair share. That means ANYONE that that is on the public payroll, we can NOT afford our own, insurance, pensions, ect. much less yours too. That also means all the politicians, if they would take a cut in their pensions, pony up money for their insurance or possibly take a pay cut (like most hard working people have these past 4 year) maybe, just maybe it could help, and then we would believe they are trying to help!!!!!
Door and Window Super Store Orland Park September 06, 2012 at 08:16 PM
As an Orland park buisness owner, I believe our Police Officers are worth their weight in gold. We offer discounts to all police and public service members. It is wrong for them not to have a current contract that is fair. Day in and day out they put their lives on the line to keep our wonderful community safe.

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