A new tentative contract for police has been approved by the St. Joseph City Commission. The body was told during a Monday meeting the three-year contract covers 16 officers in the bargaining unit. City Manager John Hodgson told us the contract includes some changes to make the department more attractive to possible hires.
“The biggest components of it are the raise, which is $1.50 an hour across the board from the newest officers to the most senior officers, which equates to about 4.8% for a top paid patrol officer. That brings them back up into line with the changes in the cost of living since the negotiation of the last contract,” Hodgson said.
The pay for the 16 officers included in the tentative contract would also be tied to the rate of inflation. Hodgson said it’s gotten difficult to find new public safety officers. The contract also includes new incentives to pursue additional training and allows officers to serve up to 30 years before retirement, instead of 28. Hodgson says that could help to retain experienced officers.