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July 31, 2015

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NLV Police Union offers to give up pay raises next year

The North Las Vegas Police Union, a 370-member group that has been in ongoing talks with city officials for months about cutting costs, has made a concession offer.

The offer, drafted Tuesday and that would still need to be ratified, includes forgoing pay increases next year, said union President Michael Yarter, a detective for the North Las Vegas Police Department.

The proposal also eliminates the ability of union members to sell back unused sick days or holidays, he said. For some officers, that could amount to thousands of dollars, he said.

In exchange, Yarter said, the union has asked the city not to lay off any police officers for the next 18 months. In addition, entry-level police officers, under the new agreement, would start at a pay rate 10 percent lower than the current one, he said.

“We don’t want the employees to be laid off,” he said. “We offered something that goes above and beyond what we had to.”

Altogether, the cuts will save the city about $5 million during the next year, he said.

The concessions do not involve any pay cuts. “We won’t go back to take away what we’ve already been given,” Yarter said.

City spokeswoman Juliet Casey said the union is “working very hard.”

“It seems like they’re very hopeful that they’ll make progress,” she said. “They’re in discussions right now.”

The agreement would need to be ratified by the union’s membership and approved by the City Council to go into effect.

“We are waiting on a response” from the city, Yarter said.

Because the city has not yet reached a tentative agreement with the police union, Casey said she couldn’t comment on the city’s position.

“We’re really hopeful that we’ll have a tentative agreement soon,” she said.

Under a city budget reduction plan to close a $35.1 million budget gap by July 1, 2012, 33 firefighter positions and 27 police officer positions would need to be cut to balance the city’s budget, unless concessions are made.

Sixteen police officer positions were saved by a federal grant, meaning 11 would have to be laid off if no concessions are made.

The council approved the budget reduction plan, presented by City Manager Maryann Ustick, Nov. 1 by a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Shari Buck the only dissenter.

So far, only the Teamsters have reached an agreement to save 144 full-time positions that would have been cut under the budget reduction plan.

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