Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke unveiled the police department's new pay plan Monday afternoon.
Watch RAW VIDEO of the event here
Mayor Berke simultaneously signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) with the Fraternal Order of Police (Rock City Lodge #22), National Black Police Officers Association (Chattanooga Chapter), and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (Local #673) which supports the present and future funding of this pay plan. (Photo courtesy Nooga.com)
"I hear from our officers, time and time again, that these ongoing pay issues impact officer morale," said Mayor Berke. "If we are going to ask officers to provide the very best service to our community, we must ensure they have a pay plan that is consistent, fair and transparent."
In his FY2014/2015 Operating Budget, Mayor Berke allocated $950,000 to fix what he called "the broken police pay structure," which has been the subject of multiple lawsuits. Issues with the police pay plan, including questions of consistency and confusion over promotions, have plagued the Chattanooga Police Department for the last several years.
Last year, the Berke Administration began working with department leadership and employee groups to reach a solution.
"What I've seen in this Mayor and this administration is a commitment to working together," said Sean O'Brien, President of the Fraternal Order of Police. "Restructuring a pay plan is not easy work but the administration listened to employees and employee groups. They took this issue seriously, showing a genuine commitment to public safety as well as a desire to recruit, retain, and develop talent within the police department."
defines a mutual commitment between employees and the City to provide the best services while demonstrating the need for predictable raises based on years of service and rank
. The agreement also calls it "incumbent on the leadership of the City of Chattanooga to respect this Pay Plan and to fully support it in present and future budgeting."
New officers are currently paid $35,913 per year. A captain with 30 years experience makes $77,450 per year.