Olentangy Valley News

Powell police officers get four-year deal from city

Annual raises range from 2.5 to 3.5 percent in new contract

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A contract giving raises to 12 Powell police officers in each of the next four years will take effect in July.

Earlier this month, council unanimously voted to approve a tentative collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council. City Council also gave City Manager Steve Lutz the authority to continue the process of finalizing the agreement.

According to city records, the deal would offer patrol officers in the union a 2.5 percent raise effective July 1; a 3.5 percent raise effective July 2015; a 2.5 percent raise effective July 2016; and a 2.5 percent raise effective January 2017.

Starting in July, the new base salary will be $51,104 for officers in the first of five step levels. The new base salary will be $73,879 for officers in the fifth step level.

By 2017, the base salary for officers in the first step level will be $55,570, while the base salary for officers in the fifth step level will be $80,336.

Canavan said city officials studied the pay ranges at police departments in Bexley, Delaware, Gahanna, Grandview, Hilliard, Upper Arlington and Whitehall during negotiations.

The top of the pay range for Powell police officers in 2013 was $72,078 -- second-least among those departments. Gahanna had the highest salary for officers at the top of its pay range in 2013 at $80,038.

"Our goal was to move more toward the middle of that range," Canavan said.

She said the new contract should help the city in recruiting and retaining police officers, adding the city's budget is expected to increase by about $48,000 per year as a result of the contract.

The contract also will increase the shift differential from 85 cents per hour to 90 cents per hour for officers working a shift in which at least half of their hours are between 2 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The contract also lays out additional raises for longevity that take effect at the start of 2016.

After seven full years of experience, an officer will get an additional 10 cents per hour. Officers will get an additional five cents per hour when they start their 15th, 20th and 25th years of service.

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