City of Bridgeport and police officers reach tentative new contract
The union representing the Bridgeport Police Department signed off on a tentative new contract Thursday, which will give pay raises, caps on health insurance and a stipend for being bilingual.
Mayor Joe Ganim said the agreement could help retention numbers within the department.
“We feel the pain of the cost of health insurance. And here's what we need to do together to address not only retention, but hiring,” Ganim said.
Bridgeport police have been working without a new contract for nearly two years and are also suffering from a staffing shortage.
Brad Seely, president of the Bridgeport Police Union, Local 1159, says the contract will entice more officers to stay in Bridgeport, instead of being lured away by neighboring municipalities with better benefits.
Bridgeport police will see pay increases totaling 14% over the next five years, health insurance caps of 33% down from 50% and sick time increases.
City Councilmember Scott Burns, the 130th District, said the staffing shortages have really hurt the department.
“We've been hearing for a year plus about, loss of officers for various reasons,” Burns said. “And, importantly, I think it's a lot of the younger officers and we want people to be able to build a career here in Bridgeport.”
Seely says the union is happy with the contract.
“I do believe it's a very fair deal for our members and for Local 1159.”