Milpitas City Council voted 3-0 April 4 to approve a memorandum of understanding with the city’s 98-member police union for a five-year contract that will see a cumulative 20 percent salary increase. The latest contract will cost the city almost $25 million over that period.
Police and city officials say the cost was warranted in order to remain competitive and to attract and retain highly qualified police officers. Additionally, police expect more calls for service as the city population grows and as the Milpitas Bay Area Rapid Transit Station opens near the Great Mall by the end of this year.
The council was told Milpitas police salaries — currently funding 87 sworn officer positions — are in the top six for the county, but not the highest, although no actual comparison was shown or included in the council agenda. City staff told the council that Milpitas could afford the increased cost in part due to fees new housing developments have to paid to the city for city services.
Under the new contract, the first 3 percent increase, which took effect retroactively on March 17, will result in a cost of $678,436. Subsequent percent increases, starting January 2018 through January 2021, will add up to $24.96 million in cost to the city.
Apart from year-over-year salary increases, the agreement also financially incentivizes night shifts, increases pay incentives to mentor new staff and increases the city’s contribution to retiree medical funds.
Tina Murphy, the city’s human resources director, said after the meeting that the night differential “is an incentive paid to sworn employees who work the midnight shift (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.). They will be paid a premium of 5 percent of base pay.”
“A field training officer is an employee who is assigned to act as a trainer and mentor to less experienced or new officers,” …read more
Source:: The Mercury News