City and Police Detectives Now In Binding Arbitration
Seeking larger salary increase than 26.1% negotiated by Superior Detectives
The City of Boston and its 44 bargaining units are starting to gear up for the next round of collective bargaining negotiations. Practically all of the current contracts will expire on June 30 or August 31, 2016. Even so, the Walsh Administration and Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society still have not settled on a contract to replace the contract that expired on June 30, 2010. Both parties are now engaged in binding arbitration hearings under the supervision of the state’s Joint Labor-Management Committee (JLMC). The Detectives want a contract that would increase their salary greater than the 26.1% increase over six years that was negotiated by the Superior Detectives union. The two parties are far apart, which makes it appear unlikely they will negotiate a new contract on their own. A final arbitration award would still require approval by the City Council.
Public Safety Contracts
Of the four uniformed Boston police unions, the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA) took the lead in negotiations which finally led to arbitration under the JLMC and a very generous arbitration award in September 2013 with a salary increase of 25.4% over six years. Following that award, the Police Superior Officers and Superior Detectives negotiated new six-year contracts with the Walsh Administration for comparable salary increases. Local 718, the firefighters union, negotiated its contract for a salary increase of 18.8% from FY12 to FY17. The four settled public safety contracts are estimated to cost $219.1M over six years. The total cost of the Detectives’ contract would add to that total.
2014 Detectives’ Compensation
In 2014, the average salary for a Detective was $74,500, but total earnings averaged $130,400. On average, salaries represented 60% of total earnings which included overtime and paid detail earnings. The more senior Detectives also received Quinn Bill payments. The Detective with the highest pay for just 2014 received $267,480 from a base salary of $75,303, overtime of $53,877, paid detail of $117,134, Quinn payments of $9,413 and other payments of $11,753.
Each of the civilian unions, including the teachers union, agreed to approximately a 12.6% salary increase over six years (0% in FY11, 1% in FY12, 2% in FY13, 3% in FY14, 3% in FY15 and 3% in FY16). The City did achieve agreement with its civilian unions on a series of reform measures which should be expected of its public safety unions as well given the higher salaries received.