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York city, police agreement saves $2.2 million, 33 officer jobs

A $2.2 million hole in York’s budget has been plugged, thanks to concessions in a four-year contract negotiated between the mayor and the city’s police union.

Mayor Kim Bracey said the city will not have to lay off an estimated 33 police officers in 2015 and that City Council will be presented with a balanced budget that does not have a tax increase.

However, that budget still includes roughly 35 other layoffs in the public works, community and economic development and administrative offices. The cuts come as Bracey tries to close a $7 million gap.

“Our city will endure because of our promise and our people,” she said.

The new contract came with significant concessions from the White Rose Fraternal Order of Police. This includes pension reform for active and future officers, as well as a modification to the way the cost of living adjustment is calculated for retirees, said union President Mike Davis.

“It’s complicated, but we’ll be using a fixed number instead of an assumed number,” he said, thanking the retirees for stepping up to help the city.

Police officers also will be making contributions to their health care while also receiving a modest raise over the four-year deal, Bracey said.

While the agreement with police puts off officer layoffs, the mayor warned the can is only being kicked down the road.

“No amount of cuts will make our city more successful,” she said. “We are waiting for our state legislators to take action.”

Joseph Deinlein

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