SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City has announced pay raises for its union employees. Officials are coming together to divvy out $9.1 million across its three unions.
It’s the first significant pay increase since the 1990’s.
Year to date, Salt Lake City’s CompStat report shows there is a 17.7% increase in overall crime.
The police department sees more than 123,000 calls a year, and it’s down 63 officers.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of training people and paying to have them trained, and having them poached by other city’s,” says Mayor Erin Mendenhall.
Friday, the mayor and city leaders told the public about the sweeping pay raises for the Police Department, Fire Department, as well as other union city employees.
“This is a bold market adjustment that has been years in the making. And it is really to avoid what has become a public safety threat to our city,” says Mendenhall.
The Salt Lake Police Association will get a 30% pay increase for entry-level officers and a 12% pay increase for senior officers.
“I know that there are some who will be angry about this decision, but there is a reason why leaders from our city’s Commission on Racial Equity and Policing has backed this offer,” says the mayor. “Decreasing the funding for a department who is already struggling to retain and recruit officers, as it relates to our police department, is an illogical and a backwards step. Defunding the police is something I have never supported.”
The Salt Lake City Fire Department answers more than 30,000 calls a year.
The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 8 is expected to agree to a 4% raise across the board.
Other union employees like dispatchers and maintenance crews will see a 4.5% raise through their union.
“My administration is also beginning a process of reviewing the pay of employees who are not represented by unions, and addressing pay discrepancies across the board,” Mendenhall adds.
First Responders were all smiles, adding this changes the morale within the city as officials look for more help to give residents what they really need, safety.
“Look, they deserve the very best service we can provide, and I know the officers of this department, they want to provide that type of service,” says Salt Lake City Police Cheif Mike Brown. “This is unbelievable, I mean, this is so well deserved.”
Salt Lake City Fire Chief Karl Lieb adds, “We just got out of COVID, we were at the front lines at the tip of the spear and we don’t ask for thank you’s, we appreciate you, so it’s nice that people recognize that.”
City officials say Unions will begin seeing the pay raises July 1.