AUSTIN — After nearly one year, the Austin Police Department reached a tentative labor contract deal with the city Thursday. This comes after months of tense negotiations that have boiled over at times.
APD has been working without an employment contract for almost a year and lost much of their stipend and specialty pay because of this, Austin police officials said.
One of the big sticking points all along has been pay raises for officers.
Under this tentative deal, officers would get a one percent raise the first year and two percent each of three years during the four-year contract. It would also reinstate certain stipend pay officers get for special skills.
The proposal will cost the city about $45 million over the next four years. That's considerably lower than the estimated $80 million cost of the last contract.
The contract will enhance civilian oversight for the police department -- which has been another contentious point -- and give the city greater flexibility in hiring new cadets and promoting existing officers.
In a statement, City Manager Spencer Cronk said, "I believe the outcome of these negotiations has resulted in a fair deal that balances the priorities of our community, our police officers and our city leaders."
The Austin Police Association's President, Ken Casadaym, sent KVUE the following statement Friday:
"Last night, the Austin Police Association’s Meet and Confer team came to a tentative agreement on a contract with the City of Austin. I am pleased with the agreement and believe that it resulted in a fair deal that benefits the community, the police department and the men and women of the Austin Police Association.
At this point, we do not have a complete document to share in its entirety with the men and women who will be working under it once the agreement is ratified. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on what the document contains until I am able to have those same conversations with my membership."
This deal must be approved by officers in a department-wide vote, then by the Austin City Council. That's where the last contract got voted down in December.
City officials told KVUE's Tony Plohetski that they are still calculating the cost of this proposed deal, but it is expected to be considerably less expensive than the prior contract that failed to pass.