Council OKs 4 percent raise for cops

The Gilroy City Council Aug. 6 unanimously approved a new contract and salary schedule for the Gilroy Police Officers Association, providing officers a 4 percent raise for each of the next four years.

The Gilroy POA, which represents about 60 unionized local police officers, and the City of Gilroy agreed to the contract terms in July. The council voted 7-0 Monday to seal the deal.

The agreement spells out POA members’ reimbursement and other conditions of employment retroactively from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.

The contract provides officers with an annual 3 percent salary raise for the life of the agreement. It also adds an annual 1 percent “equity adjustment” to the officers’ salaries, bringing their total annual raise to 4 percent.

A salary schedule included in the contract lists a starting Gilroy police officer’s base salary at $90,001 annually, as of July 1, 2018. A police corporal’s first-year salary at Gilroy PD is $96,338 under the approved contract, and a starting police sergeant is paid a $106,803 annual salary. This schedule reflects the proposed 4 percent raise from 2017 salaries.

Bilingual officers receive a 5 percent addition to their base pay, and canine and mounted unit officers receive an additional $421.38 per month, according to the proposed new salary schedule.

The purpose of the 1 percent equity adjustment in the new contract is an acknowledgment on the city’s behalf that salaries and other compensation at Gilroy PD are “behind market, compared to our region’s agencies,” Gilroy Human Resources Director LeeAnn McPhillips said in July.

Hiring qualified officers to Gilroy PD has been a challenge in the years following the 2009 recession, due to the lag in compensation and economic instability, McPhillips added. The city hopes that with the updated compensation package in the POA agreement, the Gilroy Police Department will be able to recruit experienced “lateral” officers from other agencies who can handle the growing workload of public safety calls within the city limits.

The four-year agreement also updates the city’s and individual officer’s contributions to CALPERS retirement, long-term disability coverage and uniform allowances. The contract also offers a new tuition reimbursement program for eligible officers who undertake higher education opportunities while employed by Gilroy Police Department.

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