Houston Police Officer’s Union ratifies new contract with city

The Houston Police Officer’s Union ratified a new 3 1/2-year contract with the city Friday.

According to the mayor’s office, the contract addresses pay concerns and makes cost-saving concessions.

“(The contract) will address market inequities in ranks at HPD that are currently being paid below the market,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “HPD is the premiere law enforcement organization in Texas. To maintain that position… 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.”

It will also provide for a 3.48 percent increase in pay across the board in June.

The mayor’s office said the contract also 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 and eliminates paid time off for physical fitness training.

In a release, HPOU President Ray Hunt said the agreement was “an extremely fair contract for both the officers and the citizens who pay our salaries.”

HPOU said the contract was ratified with over 86 percent of the vote. It will be on the City Council agenda for consideration Feb. 18, 2015. If the agreement passes, it would become effective immediately until Dec. 31, 2018.