Police Force at UMass Amherst Ratifies Contract

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts and members of the University''s police force, the International Brotherhood of Police, Locals 432 A and B, have reached a contract settlement. Local 432A represents uniformed officers. Local 432B represents sergeants and lieutenants.

The announcement was made by Nicholas N. Marshall, employee/labor relations administrator, and Brian L. Narkewicz, president of Local 432A.

The contract calls for three 3 percent salary increases, effective the first of January in each of the years 1998, 1999, and 2000.

A ratification vote held April 14 passed by an "overwhelming majority," Narkewicz said.

"We''re all pleased we were able to reach an agreement after a long period of negotiation," Marshall said. The last contract ended in December 1997.

Marshall said a number of issues important to the police had been resolved, including an education incentive. The new contract says that all members of the bargaining unit who have earned a higher education degree from an accredited educational institution shall receive, in addition to regular compensation, $1,000 per year for an associate''s degree; $2,000 per year for a baccalaureate degree, and $2,500 for a master''s or doctoral degree.

The contract will now be forwarded to the President''s Office for review, after which it must be approved by Gov. A. Paul Cellucci before it is implemented.

"We hope the contract will be treated expeditiously as it goes forward," Narkewicz said. "Funding is always an issue."