The Flagler Beach City Commission today approved a three-year contract with its police department’s 11 officers—without raises. Automatic raises have been replaced with a provision that allows either the city or the police union (the Coastal Police Benevolent Association) to reopen negotiations over pay by written request.
The contract, reflecting the reality of many local governments’ poorhouse budgeting since 2009, contrasts sharply with the police department’s previous collective bargaining agreement. That three-year deal included 10 percent raises in each of three consecutive years (from 2006 to 2008). A new officer will start with an annual pay of $31,000, the same pay since 2008. (The department has one vacancy among its officers’ rank.) But new officers who complete their probationary period of up to 18 months, are entitled to a 3.5 percent raise. The 5 percent raise that kicks in when an officer is promoted to the next-highest rank also remains in effect.
“As of right now we’re happy with the contract,” said David Blank, the Flagler Beach Police Department’s union representative. “Of course we would have liked raises, anybody would have liked raises.” But the officers knew going into the negotiations that raises would not be on the table this year. “The city was actually very generous with us in our last contract.”
The agreement applies only to hourly employees, not to Richard Cody, the police chief, whose salary is set separately by the commission. Cody is paid $68,000 a year. The highest-paid officer in the ranks is paid $53,000 a year. One officer, hired in May 2009, earns $31,000. Five are in the $36,000 range. The rest are between the high and low end. (See a complete chart of the department’s employees and pay below.)
Most of the 51-page agreement is unchanged from its previous version. Here are some changes:
Pay periods change: Those change from 40-hour weeks to two-week, 80-hour pay periods, enabling more flexibility with officers’ shifts.
Take-home vehicles no longer automatic: Previously the city had to let officers and detectives with at least three years’ service in the city drive their police-issued vehicle home, as long as the vehicle was otherwise used exclusively for official business and never carried civilians except individuals being transported to jail. In the new agreement, the city is required only to “make a good-faith effort” to provide take-home vehicles to officers who are not on probation, although the three-year service minimum is reduced to just one year.
Shotguns or rifles no longer required in vehicles: The previous agreement required that all vehicles be equipped with a shotgun or a rifle. That’s not a requirement anymore.
The previous agreement between the city and the police union expired on Sept. 30, 2009. The new agreement, which the commission approved unanimously, without discussion, is in effect until Sept. 30, 2012. Not that commissioners and the union haven’t been discussing this, and negotiating it, for months, in meeting after meeting. Today’s vote merely formalized a long process. No one else in the city is slated for raises, either.
Flagler Beach Police Department Salaries
|Officer Name||Position||Hire Date||Salary|
|Dan Cody*||Chief||June 2008||68,000|