Worthington police officers will receive 2.5-percent raises in 2011 and an additional 3-percent in 2012, according to the terms of a three-year contract approved last week.

Worthington police officers will receive 2.5-percent raises in 2011 and an additional 3-percent in 2012, according to the terms of a three-year contract approved last week.

Negotiations have been going on since 2009. The contract covers 2010 through 2012.

According to Worthington Lt. Jerry Strait, who was part of the police negotiating team, two issues slowed down talks.

First, the state of the economy and the question of whether voters would approve an increase in the income tax rate kept both sides from the table. The increase from 2 percent to 2.5 percent was approved last spring.

Also, police wanted to tighten up language to assure officers that new leadership would not be able to make unfair changes in shift rotations. The wording ensures that seniority is honored when making personnel transfers.

Salaries did not officially increase in 2010, but each officer will receive a $1,000 lump sum now that the contract has been ratified by Worthington City Council and the Fraternal Order of Police, Capital City Lodge 9.

The salary in 2011 will take a first year officer's salary from $45,427 to $46,563. In 2012, it will go to $47,960.

Officers have four salary steps. They reach the highest step at the end of their third year of service.

The highest paid officers' salaries will go from $69,905 to $71,653, to $73,802.

Sergeants and lieutenants reach their second and highest step after only 12 months on the job.

Sergeants with a year or more experience made $80,436 last year. That will be $82,447 this year, and $84,921 in 2012.

Likewise, lieutenants reach their highest earning potential after one year. The higher lieutenant's salary will go from $89,448 to $91,796, to $94,550.

Officers also receive annual lump sums for years served.

This year, officers with five through ten years' experience receive $1,150, which will increase to $1,200 in 2012.

The amounts increase with experience. The highest pay is for those with more than 21 years with the department. They earn an extra $1,500 this year, which will increase to $1,900 in 2012.

Officers are also paid an additional $1.20 an hour if they work second or third shift. The contract describes that as any shift with the majority of its hours between 2 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Officers currently pay 8-percent of their health, dental, and vision insurance. That will increase to 9-percent in 2012.

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