Methuen Police, City Reach Agreement: Superior Officers to Receive 19 Percent Raise

Methuen is one step closer to finalizing their city’s budget with the Tuesday memorandum of understanding agreed upon by city officials and one of the city’s two police unions. (File photograph)

The City of Methuen and police superiors reached an agreement on contract terms Tuesday in a compromise that will see the salaries of superior officers jump nearly 19 percent.

Bringing an end to weeks of tense back-and-forth negotiations that extended beyond the June 30 budget deadline, Tuesday’s memorandum of understanding was agreed upon by Capt. Greg Gallant, president of the Methuen Superior Officers Association, and Mayor James P. Jajuga’s Chief of Staff Paul Fahey. Fahey acted on Jajuga’s behalf given the conflict of interest created because Jajuga’s son is a Methuen police captain.

The memo will be finalized over the next few days and submitted to the City Council for review, Fahey told WHAV Wednesday. Councilors will then vote on a full fiscal year 2019 budget, which supersedes the emergency one-month “1/12” budget enacted to keep the city running through the end of July.

Should the memo be finalized as written, superior officers—captains, lieutenants and sergeants—stand to receive an estimated pay raise of 18.7 percent this year and 7.2 percent next year, finishing out the final two years of the three-year contract approved under the previous administration.

Captains have the potential to earn $130,000 in average base pay during the next fiscal year. The salaries of sergeants will jump to $92,000 by 2020.

The patrolmen’s union has yet to meet with Jajuga’s office to finalize their contracts. The salary of Chief Joseph E. Solomon will then be calculated at a ratio of 2.6 times that of the highest-paid, full-time patrolman.