During his campaign for first selectman, made it a goal of his for the Town of New Canaan to have a contract with the police union in place shortly after he took office. It may have stretched his patience and tested his resolve, but Mallozzi can cross the item off his list. On Monday, the police union voted to accept the town's contract offer.
"It's not a win-win for both sides," said First Selectman Mallozzi . "It's an agreement that allows us to have a dialogue to go forward. We've had two previous tentative agreements signed by the union folks here but it wasn't able to get through their membership," said Mallozzi. "This one was able to get through their membership and I'm very pleased."
It wasn't unanimous, but 30 of the 37 votes of the union were in favor of the latest contract proposal.
"We're very satisfied and we're happy this didn't go to an arbitration process," said union President John Milligan. "We got what we wanted. And this is a small town. We work together and our families know each other. Plus, we're going to have to do this again in just over a year."
The union rejected a proposal by the town last August, but approved this one after the town included a pension benefit that had been given to the fire department
"I decided to look into that benefit. We did an actuary study on that benefit," said Mallozzi. "I realized it was affordable, in my opinion. I brought it to a Board of Selectman meeting a few weeks ago and I explained the situation and here we stand today."
The contract still has to be approved by the which will peruse the proposal on Feb. 22. Both the union and the first selectman agreed that escaping arbitration, especially after the nightmare, was essential.
"I wanted to avoid another 50 to $70,000 of legal costs, said Mallozzi. "This was a process that needed some attention. We worked together and got it done."
Before they know it, both sides will be back at the negotating table. This deal is retroactive to July 2010, meaning the proposed deal, if approved by Town Council, will be up in just over a year.