Selectmen OK police contract

Amherst approves ratified agreement

AMHERST – Selectmen met Monday morning and voted to ratify a new col­lective bargaining agree­ment with the Amherst police union.

Board Chairman Dwight Brew said union members were scheduled to vote Dec. 28 and if they ratify the pact, costs and other details will be released.

The board had met Dec. 19 and rejected a tenta­tive contract, he said, so negotiators revised the agreement, the board ac­cepted the changes and voted 3-0 to accept it.

Two selectmen were away for the holiday, Brew said, but the new tentative agreement is in line with "all five members’ goals when we met the last time.

"Assuming the police ratify it, cost details will be released" and cost items will be on a warrant article for the March elec­tion, he said. "We were advised not to make it public until both sides" ratify it.

Amherst police, rep­resented by the Ameri­can Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) are working under a contract that went into effect July 1, 2014.

The bargaining unit covers sergeants and pa­trol officers, including de­tectives.

The current three-year contract calls for cost-of-living increases of 2.5 percent the first year, 2 percent in 2015 and 1.25 percent in January and again in June of 2016.