Lawrence Police Department Still Arguing Over Pay
Mediation is ongoing for the Lawrence Policy Department, the city, and police union representatives. They have yet to reach an agreement on the issue of pay increases for officers and detectives.
At this point, it’s looking as if the Lawrence City Commission will be given the final word on the remaining issues in question, though there is still some hope mediation will be a complete success. It has already helped to resolve some of the issues involved in the dispute. Both the police officers association and the city have been asked to submit their final contract proposals by mid-August for consideration.
The employment contract for offers addresses, wages, benefits, and working conditions. The current contract is due to expire at the end of the year, so there is some time for negotiating the new contract. Many of these issues have been resolved. Other sticking points, though, include the level of pay raises, and also various compensation-related issues including longevity pay, shift differential, and funeral expenses.
The pay issues have been further complicated with questions about lump sum payments, max pay increases, and auto increases when officers and detectives reach certain levels of seniority. Currently, officers and detectives receive up to a five percent annual increase based on merit and special skills that are called “competencies. ” Those who “meet expectations” or score higher receive two and a half percent increases, and an additional two and a half percent for special training or achieving competencies.
The union request builds on the current plan and asks that officers be compensated further for competencies and other achievements.