A legal settlement, approved by the Los Angeles City Council in a 13-0 vote on Wednesday, grants about 1,000 officers a salary increase. Future hires will also get about a 20 percent increase, according to an attorney for the police officer's union.
On Tuesday, city officials announced a tentative agreement to raise the salaries of rank and file LAPD officers who were hired at lower pay rates over the past four years. Some will see a bump of $10,000 or more in their salary, according to union president Tyler Izen.
“It was a compromise that will immediately restore them to the level of their peers who were hired before 2010,” said Izen. The agreement also raises the current starting salary to about $57,000.
“It was very debilitating to morale,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “I think we owed it to our officers to make it right. This tentative settlement will keep the LAPD competitive.”
The agreement mirrors a previous one that was part of a labor contract rejected by officers last month. Officers nixed that deal because it didn’t include cost of living increases. Ongoing contract negotiations between the city and union officials continue, according to Izen.
The two sides had different opinions on whether the pay raise agreement would lead to a settlement on the contract. “It really doesn’t have much impact on the contract itself,” said Izen.
“This would resolve something we have all wanted to reach agreement on as we move forward with negotiations,” Garcetti said of the tentative agreement.
The salary agreement settles a lawsuit brought by the union against the city. The union claimed the police department had promised to pay the higher rate to new recruits, even though the city had reduced starting salaries in response to plummeting tax revenues.
The city had lowered the starting pay by 20 percent, to about $49,000. The agreement restores that 20 percent, but does not include back pay. Officers who want back pay can opt out of the settlement and continue legal action against the city. They would have to hire their own lawyers, according to Izen.