First responders are fighting for change so they can better protect you. The Naples Police Department is experiencing an officer shortage. And the ones who are still on the job say they need better pay and benefits.
Naples city leaders met with the police union on Tuesday to discuss possible solutions. The Fraternal Order of Police president says the current contracts are “not it.” The only thing being offered right now is a salary increase, $1.9 million over three years. Pension and benefits aren’t even up for discussion.
The City of Naples talked with the Fraternal Order of Police went back and forth but, in the end, did not reach a deal. Jesse Granese is the FOP president of Lodge 38. “I’m a little disappointed in the outcome. Essentially, they took care of one problem which was wages, but this a 3 prong problem- medical benefits, as well as pension, and they, were unwilling to address any of it,” Granese said.
Union president Granese said that isn’t good enough to recruit and retain more officers. The starting salary proposal starts at $58,000 per year. Then, $61,000 for the second year and about $62,000 for the third year. But, that isn’t enough to cover the cost of living in Naples.
The current pension plan offer requires officers to work until at least age 60 and have 30 years of service. “There’s no package here. There is nothing that will recruit new employees,” said Granese.
During the discussion, the union said some officers are already looking to leave. So, the meeting didn’t end well.
“This is the last time this offer is going to be on the table..so if you decide something different, the offer may change next time you come back.”
“Oh, so it’ll be punitive… you just said in an open meeting it’s going to be punitive, are you kidding me.”
“Oh, are you kidding me… that’s a threat. We’re done.”
The opinion will meet in a few days and members will get to review the proposal. The City had no comment at Tuesday’s meeting.