San Diego Police Department firefighters receive a 3 percent raise on new employment contracts
The new employment contracts announced on Friday include salary increases of 3.2 percent for San Diego’s 1,900 police officers and 3.5 percent for many of the city’s 900 firefighters.
The pay increases are less than those granted to the city’s 150 deputy city attorneys, 4,000 salaried employees and 1,800 manual workers last month.
Assistant prosecutors received a 12 percent raise over the next two years, blue-collar workers received an 8 percent raise over two years, and white-collar workers received 9 percent over two years.
These deals also included much larger wage spikes for workers in targeted jobs where the city pays less than other government agencies. For example, 640 city engineers received a 29 percent increase.
The deals announced on Friday would increase police officers’ salaries by 3.2 percent on July 1 and firefighters by 2.5 percent on July 1, and fire department assistants would receive an additional 5 percent increase.
The provisional agreements negotiated by Mayor Todd Gloria, which still require final approval from the city council, leave only the city’s 100 full-time lifeguards without a new contract for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
The council is expected to adopt the new collective agreements at its meeting on Tuesday, which is due to start at 11 a.m. The council approved agreements with the other three unions on June 8th.
The mayor offered police officers and firefighters smaller increases, as their salaries are not significantly lower than in other cities.
For example, police officers who received a package of wage increases totaling more than 30 percent in 2017 have moved closer to the average law enforcement salary in the area.
“Our police and firefighters – like all of our city workers – work incredibly hard every day to serve and protect San Diegans, and they should be fairly compensated in a way that shows our appreciation for what they do,” Gloria said in a news publication. “These agreements will help us attract and retain top staff, improve public safety, and support working families.”
The collective salary increases negotiated by the mayor this spring and summer are expected to cost the city around $ 100 million a year when they go fully into effect.
The aim is to improve the quality of the workforce in the city by making pay more competitive.
Several studies by the city over the past five years have shown wage differentials of up to 50 percent for many jobs, which union leaders have attributed in part to a five-year wage freeze included in a 2012 city vote that also removed pensions for city employees except Police officers.
This measure, Proposition B, was overturned by the courts. As a result, city officials have prepared to provide retrospective pensions to thousands of city workers hired after July 2012.
Gloria said in a press release on Friday that the increased compensation will help eliminate a 12.9 percent vacancy rate in the city departments, which he blamed for delays in residents’ access to services.
The three employment contracts approved on June 8 included several salary increases for affected city workers.
The deputy prosecutors received an increase of 12 percent over the next two years – on July 1 and July 2022 by 4 percent and in January 2022 and January 2023 by 2 percent each.
Workers received an 8 percent raise over the two years, 4 percent on July 1, and 4 percent in July 2022. These workers are represented by Local 127 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Employees represented by the Municipal Employees’ Association received a 9 percent raise over the two years – 4 percent on July 1 and 5 percent in July 2022.