Denver police to get 3.5% raise in 2022 as arbitrator settles contract dispute
Because City Council rejected the contract, a third-party arbitrator was called in to make a decision and ended up giving police more of a raise
By Elise Schmelzer
The Denver Post
DENVER — Denver police will indeed get a raise in 2022 — despite some councilmembers' opposition — as the city faces massive tax shortfalls and other city staff face furloughs, an arbitrator ruled Tuesday.
The approximately 1,450 Denver police officers covered by the city's contract with the Denver Police Protective Association will receive a 2% raise on Jan. 1, 2022, and another 1.5% raise on July 1, 2022, according to terms for a two-year contract shared by the union Tuesday.
Police will not receive a raise in 2021 and also will forfeit extra pay for working holidays as well as reductions in city contributions to a retiree heath fund.
The final terms are similar to those rejected by the Denver City Council in September by an 8-5 vote due to complaints they were excluded from the bargaining table and concerns about promising raises during uncertainty about the future of the city's finances. Because the City Council rejected the contract, a third-party arbitrator was called in to make a decision and ended up giving police more of a raise than they would have received under the contract rejected by the council.
The 2022 raises will cost the city more than $4 million, though the 2021 cut to holiday pay and the retiree health fund will save millions next year. Police officers are not subject to the mandatory unpaid furloughs like other city employees.
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