A Sterling Heights police union with 35 members who averaged a gross salary of $119,000 this year and has refused to make any contract concessions — choosing instead to take the dispute to arbitration. The Sterling Heights Command Officers Association took a 3 percent pay cut last year, but balked when the city asked to extend the cut another year and requested an additional 4 percent cut, according to Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool.
Without concessions, the city wants to impose a shortened work week on the police union, and this is what is going to arbitration. The hearing was Aug. 9 and a decision is expected within two months, Vanderpool said.
The Command Officers Association represents police sergeants, lieutenants and captains. According to financial documents received from a Freedom of Information Act request, 34 of the 35 union members made $100,000 or more. The highest salary was $140,233.
The concessions are being sought because the city says it is losing millions in revenue. The city claims it has lost $27 million in property tax revenues the past four years because of declining property tax assessments and another $28.7 million in declining state revenue sharing over the last 10 years.
A spokesman for the Command Officers Association could not be reached for comment.