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January 31, 2014

Hampstead, police agree on new contract

Employees will see 3 percent raise

HAMPSTEAD — Labor negotiations between the town and the police union went smoothly and they agreed on a new two-year contract. The contract includes a 3 percent raise each year for the department’s 12 union employees.

The contract needs to be approved by the voters at Town Meeting next month.

“The negotiations went extremely well,” said Hampstead police union representative Detective Robert Kelley. “It did not have to include an attorney, which was a significant savings to the town.”

The contract is set to expire at the end of March. The contract would last through March 2016.

Police Chief Joseph Beaudoin said the contract was a good deal for the town and his employees.

“It’s a very fair contract for the town,” he said. “The work schedule stays the same, and the wage increase is close to what the rest of the town employees are getting.”

Kelley said he and Selectmen’s Chairman Sean Murphy only had to meet three times before finalizing a deal.

Murphy could not be reached for comment yesterday

“It was a common sense approach and we were pleased with how negotiations went,” Kelley said. “It was very reasonable on both ends and equitable for the town.”

The agreement would see the cost to the town increase $15,992 for the remainder of this year, $17,430 for next year and $5,464 for the first three months of 2016.

Beaudoin said police contract negotiations can get messy and was pleased that this wasn’t the case.

“Sometimes you’ll see police departments go without a contract for a year or two,” he said. “But this negotiation ended up being extremely painless.”

Hampstead isn’t the only local town who negotiated a new contract this year. Plaistow recently came to a new agreement, which will last through 2017. The department’s 21 employees had been without a contract since 2010.

In Hampstead, Kelley said neither side had to make major concessions.

“We agreed that the 3 percent raise was fair for where we are in this economic time,” he said. “There were no major changes when it comes to shift differential or health insurance.”

Residents will get a chance to alter the contract at deliberative session on Feb. 7. Town Meeting is on March 11.

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