09/16/14 3:50 p.m.
After months of negotiations, Hancock County and the union representing corrections officers have come to a new contract agreement. The three-year contract gives the officers pay raises, but also increases their insurance premiums.
The contract expired March 7, 2014 and officers have been working without a contract since then. The union and administrators then began negotiating wages and benefits.
Lt. Ryan Kidwell, jail administrator said officers with more than one year of service will receive a five percent pay raise this year, from $18.05 to $19.65 an hour. That rate will increase another 1.25 percent in the second year of the new contracts to $19.90 and in the third year to $20.15.
Starting pay for new officers will stay the same, beginning at $17.87 for the first two years. In the third year of the contract, a new officer and an officer with 120 days of experience will all receive a 1.25 percent raise. Starting pay will also increase in the third year to $18.09 an hour. An officer with 120 days of experience will receive $18.28 an hour
The downside of the contract for the officers is the three percent increase in health insurance premiums. The union will now start paying up to 20 percent of the premiums.
Hancock Count Commissioners ok’d the new contract today. Kidwell said the agreement works for everyone and the general feeling is positive.
Adminstrators and the union are still negotiating a contract for road deputies.
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