About a dozen unionized police officers gathered at the New Canaan train station Thursday morning for an informational picketing regarding their year-long contract negotiations with the town.
“We’ve been working without a contract for a little over a year now,” Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said. “We’re looking for a fair contract and the town is offering a zero percent raise while the first selectman gave himself a 2 percent pay raise.”
Union officials said the town has refused to offer a raise for the first year of the new contract and and is proposing a 1 percent increase for the second year.
New Canaan’s 44 unionized police officers have been working under the conditions of their most recent contract, which covered July 2010 to June 2013. A new contract is under “interest arbitration.”
The officers were handing out pamphlets as early as 5:15 a.m. asking residents for support.
Sgt. John Milligan, president of New Canaan Police Union Local 1575, said the state Board of Labor Relations offered last week to mediate the contract, which he said would save both the town and the union thousands of dollars, but “the town said they were not interested.”
The town filed a complaint against the union Aug. 18, claiming its “numerous frivolous” complaints have exhausted taxpayers’ money.
It is not clear how many complaints the union has filed against the town in recent months, but union officials have said they’d file grievances every time the town violates a contract.
Ogrinc, who’s been working with the department for 26 years, said this is the longest the police force has gone without a contract.
“We all have families, kids, and we just want something fair for the job we do,” she said.