Contract: Fairfield police supervisors could receive a bonus if they pass a fitness test

Fairfield’s police sergeants received a raise this year and will receive raises over the next two years, but they could get upwards of a $1,000 bonus if they pass a fitness test, according to the recently ratified union contract.

Fairfield City Council on Monday approved a new three-year contract with the police sergeants union, which give the department’s 10 supervisors a 2.5 percent base pay raise retroactive to April 1 this year. They will also receive a 2.5 percent raise on April 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021.

Police sergeants can also get a bonus if they take the physical fitness test known as the Cooper Standard. Fitness scores are based on age and gender of the officers.

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Police Chief Steve Maynard said the voluntary incentivized fitness program can reward officers with a bonus that ranges between $500 and $1,000. Police sergeants are not penalized if they don’t take the test or don’t pass the test.

“It was something I pushed for because I wanted to try to encourage the officers to stay in good shape, and that’s something that’s beneficial to them and the department as a whole,” Maynard said.

Assistant City Manager Dan Wendt cannot comment if this bonus will be in the rank-and-file union contract as police officers and the city are still in negotiations. Wendt said the goal is for City Council to vote on the police officers union contract in two weeks.

The officer and sergeant police unions are with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 166.

In addition to the raises and bonuses, when sergeants work second and third shifts, they will receive a bump in pay. Second shift supervisors will receive a 75-cent bump, and third shift supervisors will receive an 85-cent bump.

Union members will see a cut in their health savings account, but that could be temporary. The city had paid 90 percent of the officers’ HSA but will pay only 60 percent during this contract.

“It’s been reduced down to 60 percent but they can earn back up to 90 percent if they — and if its a family plan, their spouse — go and do preventative screenings,” said City Manager Mark Wendling.

Wendt said the preventative screenings will also help employees to “have the conversations” with their doctor about their health.

“When you’re under a self-funded (health care) model, that early treatment and early detection ends up giving you better health care outcomes, and it’s cheaper to treat than if you’re trying to treat it reactively,” Wendt said.

Wendling said if the police sergeants show they've had screenings, like for biometric, vision and dental, "they will get the full 90 percent again."

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“It’s really trying to get people to use the benefit that’s provided to them,” said Wendling. “The preventative screenings are fully covered, so we want to encourage them to do that so they’re healthy, and hopefully if there is an issue, God forbid, they can catch it early.”

The city won’t get any information on the screenings outside if the union members have completed it.

The sergeants union ratified the contract earlier this month, Wendt said.

The remaining union contracts negotiations should begin in early 2020, Wendt said. Those unions include the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3646; International Association of Firefighters Local 4010; and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 20.

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