AURORA | After months of negotiations, the city has a tentative contract agreement with the police officer and firefighter unions.
Details of the contracts have not been released, but city officials and leaders of both unions say the framework of contracts are in place.
The police union has already voted in favor of their contract, and the firefighters are voting this week.
The negotiations started in April, but the city and the unions couldn’t hammer out a deal during the initial negotiating window.
In the case of the police officers, Aurora Police Association President Bob Wesner said that while the negotiations took some time, they weren’t combative.
“It wasn’t as adversarial as years past,” he said.
While he can’t discuss details about the contract until they are finalized — he said the police contract is basically done and should be completed within a few weeks — he said the union is happy with the deal.
“It is the best contract, in our opinion, that we have had in the last 10 to 15 years,” he said.
For the firefighters’ union, the negotiations were more contentious. The sides presented their case to an independent arbitrator last month, and the arbitrator’s decision was expected sometime in the coming weeks.
But even as the arbitrator reviewed the facts, the two sides kept negotiating and reached a tentative agreement.
In a statement Monday, Aug. 1, Deputy City Manager Michelle Wolfe, one of the negotiators for the city, confirmed tentative agreements with both unions.
“We cannot comment on the details of the agreements until they have been finalized,” she said.
Sean Moran, president of the International Firefighters Protective Association Local 1290, said the union’s members are voting on the agreement this week and voting is expected to close Monday, Aug. 8.
He said the firefighter union and the Aurora Police Association expect to issue a joint statement once the voting is complete.
Before the negotiations started, Wesner said the police union is looking for pay raises that bring Aurora more in line with Denver, where officers make more and can reach the top level of pay several years sooner than in Aurora.
Wesner said he hopes the new contract puts the pay scale for Aurora officers in the top three or four in the area, and in the top one or two in terms of the entire benefit package.
Current contracts for both unions expire at the end of the year.