Mar 11, 2015 8:52 PM by News Staff
Chico city officials say they have struck a tentative agreement with the Chico Police Officers Association that will help the department competitively recruit new officers and retain current employees.
The three year agreement would include a five percent raise for current officers in year one, as well as a 2.5 percent increase in each of final two years.
The Police Officers Association has agreed to pay three percent of the city's pension contribution, allowing the city to continue addressing its financial deficit.
The proposed agreement also aims to make Chico more competitive when it comes to the recruitment of new officers. By year three of the proposed agreement, a starting salary will be a five percent higher than the present officers' salary.
The city expects to be able to afford the agreement long-term thanks in part to a change in the way the department issues pay increases. New employees will be given raises on a 14-step schedule, with salaries increasing at 2.5 percent between each step. The 14-step program will replace the existing seven-step program, which according to the city will result in slower operating cost escalations and long-term savings.
City Manager Mark Orme said Wednesday "this agreement provides meaningful improvements to make Chico more attractive for strong police officer candidates while balancing the challenging financial condition of the city."
City officials say that even with the agreement, they still expect to put more than $900,000 into the deficit reduction plan this year.
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