HOLLAND — The Holland City Council approved new three-year contracts with the unions representing Holland firefighters and police officers Wednesday.


The newly ratified collective-bargaining agreements include pay raises, a shift from a four-year contract to a three-year contract and some adjustments to sick and bereavement leave policies.


The previous collective-bargaining agreements will expire June 30.


Holland Department of Public Safety Chief Matt Messer and City Manager Keith Van Beek said the negotiations between the city and the unions were very smooth and consensus between the parties was reached quickly.


Negotiations began at the start of the year.


The collective-bargaining agreements include 2.75 percent pay raises, or pay raises equal to the raises given to non-union city employees, whichever is greater, for the next two years. The third year, union employees will receive a 2.25 percent pay raise.


Each year’s pay raise goes into effect July 1.


For police officers, the new collective-bargaining agreement includes tweaks to detectives’ on-call pay and pay for officers who are called to testify in court, as well how officers may use sick leave following the birth of a child.


For firefighters, the new collective-bargaining agreement adds Christmas Eve as an eighth holiday for union members, which brings firefighters in line with city employees.


It also increases food allowance for firefighters by $25 each year and modifies how firefighters may use sick leave following the birth of a child.


“I’ve been part of these negotiations in my previous life,” said Mayor Pro Tem Myron Trethewey. “You guys make it look easy. I guarantee you it is not easy, no matter how much it looks like it is, coming to you right now.


“But because of the groundwork that was led out there, because of the communications with the employees that we have, because of the trust that the employees have in management, and management has in the employees, and council has in everybody ... that’s what helps put this together.”


— Contact reporter Carolyn Muyskens at cmuyskens@hollandsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens.