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Annapolis

Annapolis Police Department approves new contract awarding officers a 19% raise

For the unionized employees of the city of Annapolis, it’s one down, two to go when it comes to ratifying new labor contracts.

Members of the Annapolis Police Department unanimously voted to approve a new contract Thursday, boosting starting salaries from $51,000 to $60,000 and giving all other officers a 19% raise over two years. The agreement also recognizes Juneteenth as a paid holiday beginning in 2023.

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The deal with police officers means the city will now focus on reaching agreement on new contracts with workers in two other unions. Both those agreements expire on June 30.

Mike Wilson, a spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, the union that negotiated on behalf of the police department, said the increased wages were necessary, “to keep wages competitive with surrounding jurisdictions.”

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“We think this is a big step toward our goal, shared with the city, of recruiting and retaining the best officers,” Wilson wrote in an email. “We’re very happy with it.”

The agreement comes as the department has faced its steepest staffing shortage in more than a decade, driven in part by starting salaries that lagged behind neighboring jurisdictions.

The starting salary bump puts the 104 members of the Annapolis police department rank and file on par with Baltimore City, and lifts Annapolis ahead of other area law enforcement employers, including the Bowie Police Department where new recruits start at $53,000 and the Maryland State Police and Anne Arundel County Police Department, which both offer starting salaries of $55,000.

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The two-year contract begins July 1, the first day of the city’s 2023 fiscal year, and replaces the previous four-year agreement.

Representatives for two collective bargaining units that represent rank-and-file city employees returned to the negotiating table on Monday. Morial Hayes, a spokesperson for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, described contracts for both Local 3406 (labor and trade employees) and Local 3162 (clerical and technical employees) as “a work in progress.”

Both sides are currently discussing “counter-on-counter proposals,” Hayes said. He expects the eventual agreement to only be for one or two years.

Representatives from the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Local 1926 bargaining unit did not respond to requests for comment.

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The negotiations come two years after the city asked all four unions to defer cost-of-living increases at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and the same week the city continues deliberating on its own budget.

On Thursday, City Council will hold a work session to discuss possible changes. Currently, the city proposes to hold the tax rate steady at $0.7380 per $100 of assessed property. Many property owners will end up paying slightly more, however, due to increased property values. The city expects a net property tax revenue increase of $474,812.


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