Houghton approves police union contracts

HOUGHTON — The Houghton City Council approved contracts with unions for police supervisors and patrol officers Wednesday night.

The lieutenant will receive a 3% raise in the agreement, as will patrol officers. The two sergeants will receive an increase in dollars equivalent to the lieutenant amount. Chief John Donnelly said that would work out to about a 3.2% increase.

The two unions will join the Department of Public Works in a committee comprising the three bargaining units, union representatives and city staff to look at the city’s health insurance and benefit package. Insurance premiums increased by 17% this year, City Manager Eric Waara said.

“They all agreed that we’re going to sit down and form a working group, so when we get to a full contract opener in a year, we would have some options for health insurance, to go forward with something that’s not going to keep bleeding us every year,” said City Manager Eric Waara.