hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown’s police department will stay intact, after the second and last remaining police union in contract negotiations with the township came to an agreement on a four-year deal over the weekend.

Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 124, following the lead of the department’s other union, Superior Officers Association, struck a deal with the township that will save six jobs that were on the chopping block.

The deal is nearly identical to the one the association came to terms with Friday: members will pay 1.5-percent of their salary toward health costs, or if they opt to choose a different coverage, contribute 25-percent of the premiums; will get 1.5-percent pay raises in October that are not retroactive, and 2-percent raises each of the next three years. Also included were concessions on co-pays and time off, Administrator Anthony Mercantante said.

“We needed to have significant work with our collective bargaining units, and our police unions stepped up to the plate and saved jobs,” Mayor Tony Fiore said.

Locking up the contracts for the two police unions saves 10 positions that were part of a layoff plan filed in February. The town’s blue and white collar unions couldn’t reach such an agreement. On Friday, 11 employees came off the payroll; three retired and eight were laid off.

The town, however, will continue to negotiate with those unions to potentially bring back some, if not all, of those jobs before the budget is adopted, likely in June, Mercantante said.