A Massachusetts arbitrator yesterday awarded Boston’s police union 14.5 percent raises over four years, splitting the difference between the amount union leaders were demanding and an offer from Mayor Thomas Menino. The judgment settles a two-year dispute with the most lucrative contract given to any city union in the current round of negotiations. It will not bring Menino labor peace during next week’s Democratic National Convention, union leaders vowed. The patrolmen’s association still plans to protest at parties Menino will hold to welcome convention delegates on Sunday night and at other convention-week events.
Thomas J. Nee, union president, said protests are appropriate because of the way his union was “railroaded” into expedited arbitration, a process he said prevented fully making its case for a better contract. “Our membership will be out, to show our contempt and frustration with our employer,” Nee said. “This contract did not deal with the issues we presented at the bargaining table. Contracts aren’t just about money.” Menino said he was relieved that the 1,400-member patrolmen’s union, the largest of the city’s police unions, is finally under contract and said he hoped most delegates would attend the parties regardless of protests, since the union will be under contract.