D.C. Police Union Disappointed With Contract Arbitration

After six years of working without a pay raise, D.C. police officers will be getting a new contract and a 4 percent raise.

The compromise came Monday night via an arbitrator between union officials and the city. The deal calls for a 4 percent pay raise starting in mid-2013, no raise in 2014 and a 3 percent raise after that.

"We thank the arbiter for affirming that our longstanding offer was fair and reasonable. We look forward to giving our officers their long overdue raises. We are just sorry that we weren't able to implement the raises sooner," Mayor Vincent Gray's spokesperson said Monday.

The union had wanted the raise to be retroactive by 3 percent since 2009, and plans to ask the D.C. Council to pass legislation rejecting the deal. Some D.C. Council members are suggesting the council should enact raises for police, but Chairman Phil Mendelson and others weren't getting involved.

“I will not support council action that will overturn or override the collective bargaining process,” Mendelson said.

"[Mayor] Gray has permanently poisoned the District’s relationship with its police officers," a release from the union says.

The arbitrator should have compared D.C. officers to officers in other large cities instead of in neighboring suburban departments, union head Kristopher Baumann said.


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"If Mr. Baumann had not stood in the way, his members would have received raises years ago," said Pedro Ribeiro, Gray’s press secretary, adding, "His lame duck comments (are) irresponsible sour grapes."

Baumann lashed out at Gray’s lack of support for police.

“You have a mayor that's been under criminal investigation for almost his entire tenure,” Baumann said. “He’s a disgrace. He’s an embarrassment to the city.”

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a statement that while she's glad the officers have a new contract setting compensation through 2017, she's disappointed it took so long to get there.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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