City Council approves raise for police officers
Houston City Council on Wednesday approved a 7 percent pay raise for police officers over two years, a deal that includes an option for a 2 percent “cost of living increase” for a third year if the sides do not reach a new agreement.
The deal grants police a 4 percent raise on July 1, 2019, and a 3 percent raise the following year. It will run through Dec. 31, 2020, with the 2 percent raise going into effect in 2021.
The police department’s current contract expires Dec. 31.
The new contract eliminates biweekly “mentor pay” and increases biweekly “field training instructor and field performance evaluator pay.”
The agreement, reached through the “meet and confer” process with the Houston Police Officer’s Union, also changes the rank of “captain” to “commander.” A memo attached to the agenda says the name change does not alter duties, responsibilities or pay.
City council’s approval comes about five weeks before Houston residents vote on a ballot item that proposes to grant firefighters pay “parity” to police officers of corresponding rank and seniority.
Before the 7 percent raise was approved, police officers had received a 30 percent raise over the last seven years compared to firefighters’ 3 percent raise. Firefighters voted down a 4 percent raise under former mayor Annise Parker, citing steep increases in health premiums.
They did not accept a 9.5 percent offer from Turner, saying the latter was offered in bad faith after talks had broken down.
Staff writer Mike Morris contributed reporting.