Collective Bargaining Agreement discussed in Ocean City Council meeting

OCEAN CITY, Md.- Monday night, Ocean City’s Lodge 10 Fraternal Order of Police are anticipating good news. As they make their way to the council meeting, with hopes that the agreement they came up with passes.

“So, what normally happens is it goes to the vote in front of the city council and the city council will approve or deny that vote and then the ratification is set to happen,” Mike Kelly, Ocean City’s Lodge 10 FOP President, said.

This years Collective Bargaining Agreement between the town and the FOP is for three years, which includes step increases, a one-time $500 dollar bonus, and benefits. Kelly said when they were making up this year’s contract they had some big goals in mind, like making sure the pay and benefits are attractive.

“Getting three costs of living adjustments over three years, the first one being for the very first year of 7% costs of living increase, the one after that would be a 4% in year two and in year three it would be a 3%,” Kelly said. “We started looking at salaries across the state of Maryland; you know where our starting salary was probably our biggest issue that we were trying to overcome.”

Kelly said a lot of times the department hires from their seasonal staff and not all of them may be from Maryland. This is a factor we are told is important in keeping them.

“If you look around the areas, and if you look around the nation on retention of officers hiring, it’s becoming harder and harder to do in this line of work and it’s our goal to make sure our officers, once they get hired here stay here,” Kelly said.

“That’s one thing that we are seeing with our seasonal, our returning numbers were down,” Ashley Miller, the Deputy Communications Manager with the OCPD, said. “I want to say we only ended up with two returning seasonal officers.”

Miller with the Ocean City Police Department said while their numbers for returning seasonal staff were down, they’ve been going steady with their full time staff.
But, they can’t take any chances, so they hope the agreement can help.

“And, that’s because everybody is competitively higher, all law enforcement agencies everywhere they are scooping up people as soon as they are wanting to apply, we have to make sure we stay competitive,” Miller said.

Ashley Miller said while this agreement is being discussed, the Ocean City Police Department is taking steps to recruit staff for next summer. This includes starting to reach out to colleges, to visit them in the Fall.

“So, that’s our goal. This is the year to get back to our recruiting style we are also planning on doing some type of videos, power point things like that, that we can push out to colleges,” Miller said.

Miller said they have their first testing dates this summer on July 26 and July 27.

Categories: Local News, Maryland