Kansas City officials are close to settling a lawsuit filed last year by the Fraternal Order of Police.
The City Council's Finance and Governance Committee will consider the settlement agreement at its meeting Jan. 16, and then it goes to the full Council.
"It's great news and I think once the council approves it and our board approves it, then a number of progressive actions will take place that we've been working on for months now," said Lisa Pelofsky, chair of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners.
The Fraternal Order of Police had filed a class action lawsuit last April, arguing that Kansas City officials and the police board acted illegally when they consolidated the city's and police department's health insurance plans. The lawsuit sought to block the consolidation.
The ordinance authorizing a settlement of the lawsuit does not spell out exact details of the agreement but says the city has agreed to release $5 million to the police board, for police salary increases. It also indicates the parties have agreed to negotiate a "holistic approach to the important issues of pay and benefits, including health insurance and pensions."
Part of that approach calls for a single health insurance entity serving both city employees and the police. A consolidated health plan has long been a goal of city officials, to save money long-term, be more efficient, and to provide for a healthy workforce.