Police End One Year Dispute, Accept New Contract With City

The Cambridge City Police ended over one year of negotiations with the City of Cambridge last Sunday, accepting a new contract that grants them a 6 per cent pay increase amounting to $741 a year.

The new contract raises patrolmen's pay from $11,900 to $12,614 a year, retroactive to July 1, 1973 and lasts until December 31, 1974.

John Corcoran, Cambridge City Manager, said at last Monday night's city council meeting that he was pleased to have finally reached an agreement with the policemen's union after a year of negotiations.

Robert Wise, attorney for the Cambridge Police Association, said Tuesday that negotiations for the new contract had taken an "unusually long time" to be completed.

Wise said that negotiations had been slowed by discussion over two main issues: extra pay for night work and longevity pay for more than 20 years' service. The new contract does not include either of these increases.

Wise explained that Corcoran, acting as the negotiator for the city, had refused to grant increases for night work and longevity service because he feared that he would be forced to grant similar increases to the Cambridge Fire Department.

Wise said Tuesday he believes that it was "an unfair bargaining practice" for the city to deny pay increases to the police on the basis of their possible effect on future contract negotiations with the Fire Department.

John Rocca, president of the Cambridge firemen's union, said yesterday that city negotiations with the police had "definitely been influenced" by their possible effect on future contract negotiations with the Fire Department.

Rocca said that the present firemen's contract with the city contains a "parity" clause which stipulates that if any other city department is granted longevity service pay or extra pay for night work, the Fire Department will automatically be granted them also.

Corcoran could not be reached for comment on the issue.

A new state collective bargaining law that goes into effect in July of this year will permit the police in future negotiations to ask for an independent labor arbiter whose decision will be final, Wise said. Negotiations for next year's contract will start in August, he added.