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Snoqualmie approves police contract

Putting an end to 15 months of negotiation, the Snoqualmie City Council last week approved a new three-year contract for the Snoqualmie Police Association.

Set to be signed this week by city officials and members of the police association, the new contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006, and is already in its second year. Three years is the maximum allowed by state statute, city administrator Bob Larson said.

The contract expires Dec. 31, 2008.

The police contract lays out the rules for how officers do their jobs and how they are paid, covering wages and benefits, hours worked, discipline and police officers' rights.

"We want to have our own police department, we want to treat them fair and we want to support them, but we felt there were some changes that needed to be made with the police contract," Larson said.

The city's main objective in the new contract was to bring the hours and wages in line with selected benchmarks, Larson said.

"It was a matter of accounting for the time over the year," Larson said. "We didn't have the holidays properly accounted for. We needed to get it to something less than 2,080 hours [annually]."

The contract sets a 19-day work cycle for officers that includes five, 10-hour-shift work days followed by four days off, resulting in 1,952 hours of regularly scheduled work per year. According to the contract, the police association and the city agreed that the lesser number of hours worked is in lieu of compensation for all holidays, either as days off or holiday pay.

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