Grandview Heights City Council approved a three-year contract with the city's police officers during its meeting April 17.

Under the agreement, police officers will receive a 3.25 percent pay increase in each of the next three years, retroactive to Dec. 21, 2016. The contract runs through December 2019.

In the first year of the contract, the new base salary will be $55,107 for starting police officers, rising to $82,811 for officers who have worked for the department at least four years. Sergeants will be paid $95,074.

By 2019, the contract's final year, the base salary for starting officers will be $58,747, up to $88,281 for officers after four years with the department. Sergeants will be paid $101,354.

Officers will continue to pay 15 percent of their health and dental insurance premiums with the city funding the remaining 85 percent.

The union ratified the agreement March 13, said Jason Pappas, president of Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9.

"We appreciate the city's approach to the negotiations," Pappas said. "It was hard-fought but respectful. There was give and take on both sides, as there always is in negotiations, but at the end of the day we came to an agreement both sides could support."

"We're happy that the officers decided to move forward and approve the agreement and that City Council passed it tonight," Mayor Ray DeGraw said after the April 17 meeting.

The new contract gives the officers a slightly larger pay increase than the previous three-year agreement, in which they received a 3 percent annual raise.

"It's a fair rate at this point in time," DeGraw said. "We've gone through periods of time before when revenues were not as strong as they are now."

One of the few changes in the new contract increases the amount of compensatory time an officer can elect in the future instead of overtime payments. Officers can accumulate a maximum of 240 hours -- an increase from the previous limit of 120 hours.

The contract also now gives an officer the option throughout the calendar year to submit a request to cash in any or all of his or her accumulation, up to 120 hours of compensatory time per year.

Those changes bring the police officers' contract in line with provisions that are in the contracts of other city employees, DeGraw said.

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