Police to get six percent raises under new agreement in Gardens

John Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, said the union didn't ask for much when negotiating a new contract with Palm Beach Gardens. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

John Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, said the union didn’t ask for a lot when negotiating with Palm Beach Gardens, which helped the two sides quickly reach an agreement. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach Gardens police officers and other union members will get six percent raises each year for the next three years under a new agreement City Council will vote on Thursday.

There are 131 police officers, sergeants and communications operators in the Police Benevolent Association covered by the agreement that takes effect Oct. 1, city spokeswoman Candice Temple said. The total cost is about $2 million, according to a City Council memo.

Employees assigned to traffic, K-9, community involvement or SWAT units will get an additional five percent assignment pay for performing those duties. Community involvement officers and SWAT team members get no extra pay under the current agreement. K-9 officers receive monthly stipends and on-call pay.

Officers assigned to the investigations bureau already get five percent assignment pay, according to the memo.

The agreement increases salary ranges for all union positions by three percent, which primarily affects new hires, Temple said.

Negotiators from both sides began meeting April 12 and resolved their issues by the end of their second session April 26, according to the city memo. Union members approved the agreement June 2 by a 59-2 vote.

In contrast, the union of firefighters and paramedics and the city reached an impasse when they were negotiating the terms of a new, three-year agreement last year. They eventually agreed to 2.5 percent annual raises. The total cost of that agreement is $1.86 million.

When asked about how quickly the police arrived at an agreement, Palm Beach County PBA President John Kazanjian said they didn’t request a lot.

“That’s not our agenda. The economy’s bouncing back, finally, and I know it takes time,” he said. “We’re working a little at a time, and that’s what we do.”

 

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