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January 22, 2013

Constantine Village Council approves FOP contract regarding wages and insurance

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Written by: Bruce Snook
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Constantine Village Office - brickwork

The Constantine Village Council has approved an agreement between the Village of Constantine and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Labor Council regarding wages and insurance.

Endorsement of the agreement came on a 6-to-nothing vote Monday evening (January 21st).  The seventh member of the council, Trustee MacKenzie Strawser, was absent.

Village Manager Mark Honeysett explained that the FOP contract is in effect until March 31, 2014, but the section of the agreement dealing with wages and insurance was subject to negotiation on April 1, 2012.  Honeysett said, “It was left that way, at my request, because there was little information by which to project village revenue and/or health insurance expenses.  Numerous factors delayed the conclusion of the negotiations, but we were able to achieve consensus.”

The village’s Personnel Committee reviewed the tentative agreement on January 8th and recommended that the council approve it.

To view a summary of the points within the agreement, click here.

In another contract matter, the council authorized increasing the allocation for vehicle expenses for  the village manager from $4,800 per year to $5,400 per year and to discontinue the furlough days – three in number – for the village manager and police chief.  The Personnel Committee recommended the actions as the result of its January 8th meeting during which Honeysett declined a proposed pay increase.  According to minutes from the meeting, there was “a lot of discussion” about pay increases of 1 percent, 2 percent or 3 percent “and finally the Manager told us that he appreciated our offer, but he preferred not to accept any wage increase at this time due to coming financial problems the Village would be facing.  He did suggest that he would appreciate an increase in his Vehicle expenses, and we agreed to raise his expenses from $4,800 to $5,400 a year as a response to the rising cost of fuel.”  The minutes also note that Honeysett suggested eliminating the furlough days he and Police Chief Jim Bedell have in their contracts because he “didn’t feel it was necessary.”

In other business, the meeting also included a ‘Sewer Ad Hoc Committee update’ from Honeysett that indicated the process aimed at amending the current sewer contract between the Village of Constantine and the City of Three Rivers – or negotiating a new contract – is continuing to move forward.

The meeting also brought council action to designate Honeysett as the ‘street administrator’ in conjunction with money received by the village from the State of Michigan for streets under Public Act 51.


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