Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1 Vice-President Dennis Leahy announced that the city and union have reached agreement on a contract for the City’s 304 rank and file police officers and raises starting salaries to a more competitive level.
The agreement runs through June 30, 2020.
Purzycki said the new contract accomplishes a number of important goals:
- It provides Wilmington police officers with a more competitive annual wage as compared to other local law enforcement agencies
- It results in more police officers being on the streets where they are needed
- It addresses the need for city employees to accept a greater share of the City’s escalating health care costs which are contributing to projected, annual multimillion-dollar budget deficits
The agreement gives the City’s rank and file police officers pay raises of 2% each in Fiscal Years 2018.
- Effective July 1, 2018, a new starting police officer’s salary will be $51,445, which will enable the city to attract and retain qualified officers
- The agreement reduces by four the number of days an officer can schedule to be off, which allows for approximately two additional officers on each patrol shift
As for efforts to control health care costs:
- The FOP agreed that its members would pay up to 12 percent of the city’s total annual premium that is paid for police officers, versus the current average of 4.9 percent.
- The City and the FOP also agreed that, to encourage better health among police officers, union members who engage with and follow the recommendations of their physicians for age and gender-specific screenings will receive a two percentage point reduction on their premium contribution
- The union also agreed to an increased co-pay for emergency room visits of $150 versus $50 as
“We believe this contract is a step forward in terms of providing a more equitable salary structure for Wilmington Police Officers,” said FOP Lodge #1 Vice-President Dennis Leahy. “This gives us the competitive edge to attract the highest quality of applicants to this agency and better retain the hard-working men and women that protect this city every day. We appreciate the city’s effort to develop terms that respected the union’s position on issues, much as we made every effort to respect the city’s concerns about rising health care costs.”
Chief of Police Robert J. Tracy praised FOP Lodge #1 and the city for reaching an agreement.
“This contract provides wages that are more comparable to neighboring police agencies,” said Tracy. “The Wilmington Department of Police must continue to be able to attract and retain the highest quality of employees. That’s why I am very pleased that the mayor made police salaries a priority for the recent contract discussions. We are building stronger internal relationships as these successful negotiations would indicate because we are united in a common goal of serving and protecting the citizens of Wilmington”.
FOP Lodge #1 ratified the new contract at a meeting earlier this week.