2 percent increase offered as city seeks to attract, retain quality officers
Alexandria, La. (Nov. 11, 2019) — Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall along with Public Safety Commissioner Daryl Terry and Police Chief Jerrod King hope to reduce police turnover by continuing to offer a 2 percent base pay increase for current officers who did not receive the increase this summer after their union declined it.
To date, the union representing Alexandria police officers, Alexandria Police Officers Association Local 833, has declined to accept the Mayor’s offer. The initial offer would have provided a 2 percent increase to police officers who have not yet achieved the rank of Corporal, which includes approximately 40 officers.
Under the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement, a five-year deal voted on and approved by the union and adopted April 19, 2016 under the previous administration, starting base pay was increased from $31,500 per year to $34,000. The agreement specifically noted, in Attachment A, “Police Officer starting salary is $34,000. An officer is not eligible for raises until they reach the rank of Corporal at which time they will receive a 5 percent raise. A raise is defined as any increase in salary granted to all employees.” Achieving the rank of Corporal typically takes four years.
“In the spirit of recognizing the contribution of every officer, I offered an across-the-board pay increase for the entire department, and unfortunately the union declined,” Hall said. “Keeping pay competitive is a critical issue to help decrease turnover and to engage our officers. My offer of a one-time 2 percent increase to the base pay still stands. My hope is we can work together and find a solution so our valuable and dedicated police officers can receive this increase.”
Should the current offer be accepted, the increase would start after that agreement is finalized and would not extend back to the time of the initial offer. State law prohibits retroactive pay increases, and the funds budgeted cannot be used to increase the pay or benefits of current officers.
“Just as law enforcement across the country is experiencing difficulties in both the recruitment of and retention of qualified individuals for a multitude of reasons, APD is no different and of course financial compensation is one of those reasons,” Chief King explained. “As a member of the administration, I wholeheartedly support increasing the pay for all of our officers, from the newest recruit to our veteran officers who have dedicated their lives to serving this community.”
Annual base pay for new officers is $34,000. In addition, the city provides a $3,000 supplement, which is half the value of the state supplement officers receive after completing a year of service. Officer’s pay increases to $40,000 the second year, comprised of the $34,000 base pay plus $6,000 in supplemental pay from the state. With benefits, the approximate total compensation package value is $61,000 after the first year.
“We believe our officer pay and overall compensation package is competitive,” Hall said. “I am committed to supporting our police and fire departments while balancing the needs of the entire city.”
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