The city of Lexington signed a four-year labor agreement Tuesday with employees of the Fayette County Detention Center. The contract, which was ratified last month, represents $1.2 million in savings to the government. "The Community Corrections officers and sergeants understand the financial crisis the great city of Lexington is facing and we wanted to answer the mayor's call for public safety employees to make sacrifices," says Sgt. Kevin Johnson, President of Town Branch FOP Lodge #83.
Union members agreed to no pay increases for the first two years of the contract, reductions in vacation, holiday, and sick leave time, and reductions in the amount of money the city contributes to healthcare costs. The agreement also includes a tuition benefit at Midway College, an annual uniform allowance, and increased benefits for corrections officers killed in the line of duty.
Public safety represents the largest chunk of Lexington's budget, and Mayor Jim Gray's budget called for finding $5 million in reduced spending for all public safety labor groups.
"There's nothing casual about a negotiation, especially in times like today where we're having to ask for sacrifices and adjustments," says Gray.
Firefighters ratified their contract last fall. Collective bargaining continues with the police union.