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Cypress, Police Union Reach Agreement

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

After a two-year struggle, the police union and city government have reached agreement on a new contract for police employees.

The new contract calls for an across-the-board 1.5% pay raise retroactive to July 1, according to Sgt. Gene Komrosky, president of the Cypress Public Safety Employees Assn.

The City Council announced it had reached a settlement Monday night after a closed-door meeting, but Mayor Pro Tem Joyce C. Nicholson did not disclose details of the contract.

Komrosky, however, said it is a two-year contract that, in addition to the initial 1.5% pay raise, gives raises on Jan. 1 and July 1, 1995. The 1995 raises will vary according to work category. For instance, sworn officers will get a 3% raise next July, while sergeants will get 5%.

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“We’re satisfied with the contract,” Komrosky said. The police union hoped to increase police pay to the average in similar Orange County cities, he said. With the new contract, Cypress police still lag behind other cities, “but we came as close as we could.”

Komrosky said the police association had to give up a floating holiday and accept no increase in medical benefits.

Police officers endorsed the new contract by an overwhelming vote last week, union officials said.

Police had been without a contract since 1992, and negotiations at times had become tense. Last November, about 150 people, including police and their families, picketed a City Council meeting. Officials said it was the first time that police had picketed city government.

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Police also at one time threatened to launch a recall action against council members. They charged that the council was exaggerating its budget problems and actually had adequate money for a police pay raise.

City Atty. John E. Cavanaugh said the new contract represents “give and take on both sides.”


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