The San Diego City Council gave its approval Monday to a five-year, $92 million contract for San Diego Police officers.
The tentative agreement lays out 3.3 percent pay raises to come in the final two years of the plan, as well as increases in flexible benefits.
The contract addresses the problem of low pay that has discouraged top notch candidates from applying to the SDPD, and many experienced officers have been enticed away by better-paying agencies.
The issue has eroded the department to “dangerously low staffing levels,” the San Diego Police Officers Association says.
According to city council staff, at least half of the department is also eligible for retirement over the next three to five years or has entered the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, which requires employees to retire within five years of enrolling in it so they can collect a pension in a different account.
The agreement between the city and SDPOA includes a recruitment allowance of $2,500, 40 hours of leave annually for all SDPOA members, and additional flexible benefits for those with eight or more years of service.
The city has budgeted for 2,013 officers, but the SDPD has employed about 100 fewer than that in recent years. The SDPOA hopes to up that number to 2,100 officers by 2018. The pay increase will come out of the city’s general fund.