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Chicago Cops Get Smallest Pay Hike in Nearly 30 Years

Chicago Cops Get Smallest Pay Hike in Nearly 30 Years

Budget Director Eugene Munin said the city plans to finance the back pay portion by issuing $160 million in so-called commercial paper, a short-term line of credit retired by general city revenues. Borrowing to pay day-to-day operating expenses is not id

Chicago Tribune via YellowBrix

April 18, 2010

CHICAGO – Chicago taxpayers dodged a fiscal bullet today when an independent arbitrator awarded rank-and-file police officers a 10 percent pay hike over five years, their smallest five-year increase in nearly 30 years.

The pay raise falls short of the 16.1 percent Mayor Daley once offered and even shorter of the 24 percent the Fraternal Order of Police demanded. But, the pricetag is still a whopping $375 million — $160 million of it for retroactive pay.

Budget Director Eugene Munin said the city plans to finance the back pay portion by issuing $160 million in so-called commercial paper, a short-term line of credit retired by general city revenues.

Borrowing to pay day-to-day operating expenses is not ideal. It’s kind of like putting groceries on a credit card. But, Munin said the city has no other choice.

“We don’t have a lot of options. Our revenues dropped precipitously after the recession started and, more significantly, in 2008. We have current obligations that we have to meet. It’s the best option that we have right now,” Munin said.

“We’re not considering a tax increase. … If our revenues were higher — and they will return to some level closer to 2007 — then we’ll be in a better position to retire any debt that we have.”

Mayor Daley was careful not to gloat over the city’s victory. But, he had a message for the rank-and-file who will undoubtedly be bitterly disappointed: Don’t blame me for the 16.1 percent that your union leaders left on the table.

“If I agreed to 16 percent, they had my word on 16 percent. But, union officials must have not trusted [it]. I’m their kicking boy. In order to make their members mad at me, they have to kick me around. I understand that. That’s how it works. They make me the bad guy. But, I’m not the bad guy in this situation,” Daley said.

“If I gave you my word, my word is good. But, they said, ‘Let’s go to arbitration.’ They went to arbitration and they only got ten percent … I ask all the police officials and all their families: Don’t blame me. It was not me. It was your union officials … I have to be the whipping boy on a lot of issues. But, I stood tall.”

Chicago aldermen, who have 90 days to approve the contract, emerged from closed-door briefings on the agreement predicting ratification.

“From a liability standpoint, the city dodged a bullet,” said Ald. George Cardenas (12th), who once predicted Council rejection of a double-digit pay hike.

Ald. Tom Allen (38th), whose Northwest Side ward is home to scores of police officers, called the ruling “a practical result” from an arbitrator who “took into account the current economic climate.”

“Everyone wants to get this put to bed. I would hope it gets support and we wrap it up. It’s almost time to start negotiating the next contract,” he said.

Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) predicted that rank-and-file officers would be “very disappointed” by the ruling and said she’s “not happy” either.

“I would prefer that we lived in a better economic climate so there wouldn’t be this squeeze between what people are entitled to and what we can afford to pay,” Lyle said.

In March, 2009, Daley pulled off the table an offer to raise the salaries of Chicago Police officers by 16.1 percent over five years.

The decision to withdraw a contract offer the FOP deemed inadequate to begin with so infuriated the rank-and-file, thousands of officers marched around City Hall chanting, “Daley sucks.”

The April 2, 2009 protest was timed to embarrass Daley during the International Olympic Committee’s final site visit to Chicago.

After that, the city revised its offer to ten percent over five years. But, the first 2.5 years of those pay hikes would have gone directly into the police pension fund, effectively freezing police salaries during that period.

In that sense, the arbitrator’s ruling of a 6.5 percent retroactive paycheck is a victory for the Fraternal Order of Police.

Deputy Corporation Counsel David Johnson touted several key provisions that have nothing to do with pay and everything to do with performance: random alcohol testing for on-duty officers; mandatory drug and alcohol testing whenever officers discharge their weapons on or off-duty and the addition of Ecstasy and anabolic steroids to current drug testing.

“There’s been a lot of public attention on the whole issue of behavior of police officers — both on-duty and off-duty. There have been a number of regrettable incidents, most of them off-duty. We felt that it was very essential” to do testing, Johnson said, calling the weapon discharge provision “without precedent” around the nation.

  • Evgeni_nabokov_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Be thankful for any $$$ increases in pay.
    I am glad the increase in $$$ went to the right people.
    Stay safe and keep your vests on.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I'm glad they got a raise. However it will never be enough, When everytime you go out the door you put your life on line. Just my 2cents.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Take what you can get!

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I wonder how many free lunches were cut

  • Mass_tactical_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Hey good for them, I agree with Alexy.

  • Joefriday_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am happy CPD got a raise. Many agencies are getting no raise higher insurance premiums and co-pays. I will never hold another cop in contempt for what they got and I did not.
    Realise that the Chicago Tribune wrote this article as a way to slam the police for getting a raise ( be it small) in these economic times.

  • Nado_max50


    over 4 years ago


    they should be glad they are getting a pay increase at all considering many LEO's are in fear of not having a job at all, 2012 cant get here quick enough

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    How about these law makers and government idiots take a pay cut. they work so much less and do nothing but create more problems for us in the l/e world!

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I feel your grief. We've had NO raises here in SWFL for almost 4 years now. O/T and details are limited too.
    Bottom line is this; we (the LE community) have never been paid what we're truly worth. Nor will we.
    Its always been about serving our communities first, while earning modest salaries and working towards modest pensions. But the economy is really turning the screws to us now. I'm confident we'll get through it eventually.

  • N1023300020_30025442_7610_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 4 years ago


    They should be thankful that they are getting a raise, there are a lot of departments haven't gotten one and won't in the near future.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 4 years ago


    LE should be the highest paid job, Some day that will get figured out, until then hang in there Guys and Gals, Keep fighting the good Fight.
    Anchorage has been on a hring freeze for over a year, Leaving some recruits hanging just prior to academy. No idea when the freeze will lift. It's sad but true, alot are just happy to have held onto their position during these times.

  • -paxp-deijejanuary2012bingoforhomelessfamiliesutahcyberslutsorg_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sorry that these great officers did not get a better raise. I am always trying to get politicians to actually support the very legitimate needs of Public Safety for extra resources and of course necessary wage adjustments.
    Thanks For All That You Do as A Department. Be Safe!

  • 4533_1068510194942_1291686471_30165148_3810701_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Atleast they get a raise, my agency hasn't given raises in three years and now they are thinking about cutting benefits.

  • Image_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I have to agree with Dallascrane. The economy sucks right now.

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