HOUSTON – Mayor Annise Parker was joined by Houston Police Officers Union President Ray Hunt Monday morning to announce a proposed new contract for the rank and file at the Houston Police Department (HPD).
The agreement, which requires ratification by union membership and City Council’s approval, addresses pay concerns that have hindered HPD’s ability to attract and retain officers. It also includes several cost-saving concessions.
“This contract will for the first time in a long time bring HPD’s entry-level salary to market level,” said Mayor Parker. “It will also address market inequities in ranks at HPD that are currently being paid below the market. HPD is the premiere law enforcement organization in Texas.
To maintain that position and continue to be able to offer the best crime-fighting services around, we have to retain our veteran officers as long as possible and be an attractive career prospect for young recruits. That means offering competitive salaries.”
The contract includes the following pay adjustments:
An increase in base pay for probationary officers from $35,000 to $42,000, effective June 1, 2015
$32 million of adjustments starting in July 2016 and spread out over two years to address market inequities within various ranks
A 3.48 percent across-the-board increase on July 1, 2018
In addition, the agreement modifies the City’s financial obligation for accrued time off when an officer leaves the department, creates a financial incentive for officers to pass an annual physical agility test, eliminates paid time off for physical fitness training, changes the promotional testing systems to help ensure all officers have equal opportunity to be promoted and creates a financial incentive to entice experienced officers to pursue investigative positions.
“The men and women of the Houston Police Department thank Mayor Parker, former City Attorney David Feldman, current City Attorney Donna Edmundson and Assistant City Attorney Natalie Deluca for negotiating an extremely fair contract for both the officers and the citizens who pay our salaries,” said HPOU President Ray Hunt.
The rank and file is scheduled to begin voting on the agreement this afternoon. It will be on the City Council agenda for consideration February 18, 2015. Providing these necessary approvals are obtained, the agreement will become effective immediately and last until December 31, 2018. The rank and file will receive two percent cost-of-living adjustments July 1, 2019 if there is no agreement on a new contract by then.