Anne Arundel County councilmen approved on Monday the first raise for county workers in more than four years.

The council unanimously granted a 3 percent pay increase for more than 550 officers who belong to the Fraternal Order of Police, as well as for an additional 1,000 employees in another union whose contract included a "me, too" clause entitling its members to raises if another bargaining unit received them.

The county was forced to give the $1.6 million worth of raises, retroactive to July 1, after the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the police union in a labor dispute.

Thousands of other county workers will continue to go without pay raises since the council last granted a raise to workers in May 2008.

Since then, falling revenue linked to the recession and collapse of the housing market prompted county officials to freeze salaries and require workers to take days off without pay.

ecox@baltsun.com