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Town, police union strike deal

Contract to save $80,000 over three years, union hopes to restore positions

Bethlehem Police Department.

Bethlehem Police Department. Photo by Spotlight Staff.

— Tremblay-Glassman commended the union’s new president, Officer Michael Berben, on “understanding the complexity” surrounding the negotiation and commended his hard work to come to an agreement.

“Once again, I will ask the Town Board to recognize that all town employees have made concessions in these difficult economic times,” she said. “We have asked them to do the same job with less and they have left the table understanding the financial difficulties that face the town while working collaboratively to find avenues to come to this agreement.” Town Board members agreed, and at the meeting stood to applaud the efforts of the town’s police force and dispatchers.

Berben later said he could not speak openly about the new contract, as the PBA is still involved in a labor dispute with the town over restoring vacant positions cut in this year’s budget, but said the union made major concessions for the good of Bethlehem residents.

“With this contract, our membership anticipates the replacement of seven vacant positions due to attrition. In the near future, additional retirements are expected and it is the hope of our membership that staffing levels do not further decline,” he said in a statement. “Our membership is devoted to the Town of Bethlehem and is committed to providing the highest possible level of service and protection.”

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