Louisville Police Union Agrees to Contract with Bigger Raises, No New Reforms – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville
The Louisville metropolitan government and the city’s police union have come to an agreement on a collective agreement for rank-and-file officers – again.
The two sides had already reached a deal in August, but an overwhelming majority of officers voted against. Although the original deal included what both sides called the biggest one-time pay rise in the department’s history, many officers said they felt it was still not enough.
Under the new interim contract, officers would get a 9% pay rise in the first year, retroactive to July. In the second and final year of the contract, they would get a 6% pay rise, up from the 3% previously offered.
This means that the starting salary for a Louisville police officer in July 2022 will be $ 52,561, up from $ 45,489 today.
The union representing the leaders, River City FOP Lodge 614, said in a statement Sunday night that its members voted to approve the contract.
“The FOP believes the decision to ratify the proposal may help with recruitment and retention efforts,” the union said. “The critical manpower shortage that currently exists makes it essential that everyone involved do everything possible to help LMPD reach an adequate level. staffing levels.
A union representative declined to comment further.
The agreement will still have to be voted on by the Metropolitan Council. In a statement following the vote, Mayor Greg Fischer urged council members to pass it.
“It is essential that Louisville have a police department that offers competitive compensation in order to retain and recruit the best and brightest officers, and to move forward with reforms that build trust between officers and the community they serve, âFischer said.
What’s in the contract?
Apart from a substantial increase in salary increases, the principle contract is identical to the previous agreement.
It has a handful of reforms, including mandatory drug tests after a critical incident, like a shootout or a serious car accident. If an agent refuses, he can be dismissed. The union must also recognize the Civilian Review and Accountability Board, created by the Metro Council last year.
Other reforms included in the contract:
- Investigators assigned to the Special Investigations Department, which investigates shootings involving officers and citizen complaints, will be required to complete 40 hours of training on “the policy, practice and legal considerations of internal affairs.”
- A $ 5,000 down payment incentive for agents to buy a home in one of Louisville’s low-income neighborhoods
- New program that will allow agents to be paid to volunteer with a community group for up to two hours per pay period
While Fischer said the provisions are proof of his office’s “commitment to making major reformist changes,” local activists are less than impressed.
Members of the 490 Project, a grassroots activist group focused on Louisville police contracts, said the reforms were inadequate. They highlighted reforms which they believe are necessary for increased transparency and accountability, but are not included in the new contract.
Earlier this year, Project 490 urged Fischer to open contract negotiations to the media and members of the public. Instead, the Fischer administration agreed to close meetings to the public, including members of the Metropolitan Council. The group also demanded that supervisors’ notes on an officer’s performance and conduct be part of their permanent personal file, instead of being destroyed after one year.
Taylor U’Sellis, an activist for Project 490, said Monday that Fischer’s willingness to increase the amount of proposed pay increases without requiring further reforms is “a missed opportunity.”
“He could have negotiated other changes to the collective agreement,” she said. “To give them more money without asking for anything else [in return], it looks like a failed 101 negotiation.
Supporters confident about the chances of contracting
While Project 490 will ask the Louisville metro council to vote against the contract, some members are already lining up to support it.
Shortly after the police union announced it had struck a new deal, Anthony Piagentini, a member of the District 19 Metropolitan Council, said he would sponsor the contract. Piagentini, who heads the Republican caucus, said every member of his caucus is considering being a sponsor.
Piagentini told WFPL News on Monday that he believed there was widespread bipartisan support for the new Metro Council contract. He said the hope is that this will help alleviate a shortage of about 300 officers within the Louisville Metro Police Department.
âMost people can see that without addressing the compensation of our LMPD officers, we cannot seriously rectify this recruitment and retention problem,â Piagentini said. “The LMPD, in my opinion, has the most important and direct role in public safety, so if we are serious about tackling violent crime, we have to get this contract done.”
The contract is almost identical to one that Metro Council approved earlier this month for police captains and lieutenants.
Metro Council’s labor and economic development committee is expected to discuss the contract at its meeting next week. It could be put to a final vote as early as December 16.