Yale and police union achieve tentative accord
The university has reached tentative agreement on a seven-year contract with the union representing its police officers, who are scheduled to vote on the proposal by the end of the month.
“This is an excellent agreement for Yale and its police officers,” said Janet Lindner, vice president for human resources and administration. “The negotiators for the university and the Yale Police Benevolent Association worked extremely hard over the course of numerous meetings to resolve all the issues and make the necessary compromises.”
An important issue addressed by the new agreement is overall income and job security, including opportunities for overtime, which can be more constrained in university environments than for comparable police officers in the public sector. At the end of this contract, Yale’s police officers will be among the highest paid officers in the state. Lindner said the agreement continues Yale’s investment in highly competitive salaries, benefits, and working conditions for the officers, ensuring that Yale continues to attract and retain outstanding women and men to serve in the Yale Police Department.
Health insurance was another major topic of discussion throughout bargaining. The university had offered a program modeled after the State of Connecticut’s, as well as Yale’s agreements with Local 34 and Local 35 of UNITE HERE, which exchanged lower premiums and fees for greater ownership of nationally recommended preventive health actions. The police officers preferred a more traditional premium structure, captured in the new agreement. In addition, the agreement continues current retiree health benefits, even as these benefits are rapidly changing in the municipal sector.
The new agreement includes features designed to continue to improve the daily working relationship between the union and the police department, opportunities for police union input and problem-solving over new policies, and a committee on health insurance benefits.
In keeping with Yale’s investment in good relationships with its unions, this new agreement was achieved through bargaining and without job actions or legal procedures. While contract negotiations were underway, Yale and the union extended the previous contract.
“Yale police officers continued to serve the campus community with dedication and professionalism throughout the negotiations,” said Ronnell Higgins, Yale’s director of public safety and chief of police. “We provide them with the training, resources, and support they need to keep our campus community safe, and we receive excellent cooperation from our students, faculty, and staff at Yale, which is essential for our success.”