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Arbitrator Rules Against Denver Officers On Raises, Contract Length

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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Investigator Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned that an independent arbitrator has ruled against the Denver police union and in favor of the City of Denver over the length of a new police contract and pay raises for officers.

Under the ruling Denver’s nearly 1,500 officers will receive no raise next year and a 1 percent raise in 2014, significantly less than what the police union had proposed.

The city and the Police Protective Association reached an impasse in contract negotiations earlier this year and agreed to let an independent arbitrator hear both sides, and then provide a binding agreement.

According to a 58-page ruling issued Saturday and obtained by CBS4, arbitrator Harry Maclean sided with the city, which wanted only a two-year contract for police featuring no raises in 2013 and a 1 percent raise in 2014.

“Comparative data supports the city position that Denver police officers are currently well paid,” wrote Maclean.

Maclean noted the city’s precarious financial position and that Denver police had received 4 percent raises for each year from 2008 through 2012.

The Police Protective Association had proposed a three-year contract with no raise in 2013 but 3 percent raises in 2014 and 2015 taking effect in July of those years.

The city estimated that its two-year proposal will save about $6.1 million over the course of two years.

The arbitrator was asked to decide on 16 issues that the sides could not agree on. He said he did not have jurisdiction over one issue so issued orders on 15 items.

Maclean ruled in favor of the city on 11 issues and in favor of the police union on four issues.

The arbitrator ruled that over the course of the new contract, officer’s birthdays would no longer be treated as holidays. Previously, officers received holiday pay for working on their birthdays. The city said it would save about $572,000 per year by getting rid of that benefit. The arbitrator concurred with the city analysis and suspended the birthday holiday. However he did rule in favor of officers on the topic of equipment pay.

Currently, officers receive $700 per year to maintain their equipment and uniforms. The union argued in favor of maintaining that benefit and the arbitrator agreed.

The new collective bargaining agreement between the City of Denver and the Police Protective Association goes into effect Jan. 1.

LINK: The 58 Page Decision

- Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com

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