The Minneapolis City Council will soon decide whether or not to approve a tentative police contract that would grant Minneapolis Police Department officers pay raises and up to $7,000 in bonuses.
The labor elements of the contract come after the city’s police department continues to struggle with a dire police officer shortage following its involvement in the death of George Floyd and the ensuing reaction from residents and city officials to defund the police.
Since then, the department has lost around 300 officers. A ballot measure voted on in November to replace the police department with a public safety department made up of social workers was summarily rejected by voters.
Now, with contract details agreed upon by the City of Minneapolis and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, law enforcement and city officials hope to get the police department back on track.
Union president Sergeant Sherral Schmidt hopes that the updated contract will help the department fill its vacant positions.
In a statement, Schmidt said that officers “have worked through some of the toughest times in Minneapolis history” and are “severely understaffed.”
“Our hope is the City Council will see how this agreement will help the city of Minneapolis become a competitive employer in a difficult hiring environment. This contract would be the beginnings of being able to recruit and retain the best candidates in a limited job pool and recognizing the employees that have remained with the city,” she said.
A summary of the agreement released by the Minneapolis City Council’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee included officer wage and longevity increases of 1% on the first day of 2020, followed by an increase of 1.5% on the first day of 2021 and 2.5% for the year after.
Market adjustment increases were also included in the contract, with an increase of 2.5% based on January 1, 2022, labor market averages. Another market adjustment of 1% will go into effect at the end of the year on December 31.
The contract also offers recruitment and retention bonuses to attract new officers and keep current employees. New employees would receive $3,500 after completing field training, along with an additional $3,500 after their probation period.
Current employees would receive $3,500 upon ratification of the contract and would receive a second payment if they remain on duty until at least December 31, 2022.
According to the current job posting from the department, cadets’ starting salaries are at $21.46 per hour, while officers transferring from other departments receive between $31.45 and $40.70.
The contract also includes non-economic requirements such as mandatory health screenings before returning to duty after a critical incident and gives the chief authority to determine “proper duty location” for a police officer returning from a critical incident.
If approved, the agreement would be valid from 2020 to 2022.