D.C. Police Finally Get Raises, Union Says It’s Not Enough
D.C. police officers will finally receive a pay increase after six years of stagnant wages, but the police union says the initial 4 percent salary hike is just too little, too late.
Under an arbitrator's ruling made Monday night, police officers would get a 4 percent raise retroactively from April 2013 on, no pay increase in 2014, and then a 3 percent bump each year from 2015 to 2017.
The Fraternal Order of Police had lobbied for a 3 percent retroactive raise from 2009 on, and a 4 percent raise in the sixth year of the contract. City officials and the union have been at a standstill over contract negotiations for years, and the city vowed not to give the officers raises until it reached an agreement with the union.
"While I am pleased that we will have a contract that takes us through Fiscal Year 2017, I am disappointed that it took this long to reach a result," Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a release.
But despite finally have a contract, it doesn't look like the relationship between the city and its police force will be smoothed anytime soon.
"Vincent Gray has permanently poisoned the District’s relationship with its police officers," says union chairman Kristopher Baumann, who will not run for reelection and is stepping down from his post in April.
The mayor's office blames Baumann for stalling the negotiation process and says if it hadn't been for the union boss, police officers would have gotten wages years ago—and possibly bigger ones if Baumann hadn't allowed contract negotiations go to arbitration. Baumann disputes that claim.
Additional reporting by Will Sommer
Photo by Darrow Montgomery