Elkhart Board of Public Safety approves bargaining agreement

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Photo courtesy of www.elkhartcounty.com
The Board of Public Safety approved a new collective bargaining agreement between the Fraternal Order of Police #52 and the City of Elkhart for sworn law enforcement officers in the Elkhart Police Department. The contract is for 2023-2025.
On December 5, 2022, the Elkhart City Council voted to approve the contract by an 8-0 vote. The contract passed at that meeting, and the salary ordinance was updated for 2023. This new contract encompasses several key changes, particularly in compensation, which brings our Department in line with neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Some key provisions include:
• Increased compensation: approximately 8% increase in base pay for most pay grades in 2023, and increases in 2024 and 2025 (4.5 and 4.25%, respectively). This brings the base pay for a 3rd Class Patrolman from $58,315 to $61,000 in 2023, for example. A 1st Class Patrolman’s base pay also increases from $66,615.04 to $72,000 in 2023.
• Increase in specialty incentive pay for certain specialties (such as Evidence Technician, Field Training Officer, and Limited English Proficiency/Sign Language Proficiency), as well as an increase in shift differential pay for afternoon and midnight shifts
• Double-time hourly rate pay for officers working overtime for posted city-sponsored events or overtime caused by manpower issues
• Increased longevity pay, as well as now counting years of service credit for prior certified law enforcement officer experience towards the longevity calculation (applying both to lateral recruits, as well as applying retroactively for current employees)
Upon its passage by the Board of Public Safety, Chief Kris Seymore adds, “I’m pleased that they were able to reach this agreement, and thank all of the individuals who worked tirelessly on these contract negotiations. I also want to thank the Elkhart City Council and the Board of Public Safety for their approval of this contract, and for recognizing the value of our officers and their service to our community. We at the Department are ready to move forward under this new contract. The competitive compensation and benefits in this agreement make us a more attractive department to new and lateral recruits. Most importantly, the increased compensation in the contract awards our current officers.
This change is crucial for officer retention in a competitive labor market.”
Fraternal Order of Police #52 President Sgt. Jason Ray also noted, “FOP representatives worked diligently in this negotiation process. This contract is a big step forward for officer recognition at EPD. The FOP is pleased with the negotiated pay scale increases, and the new longevity credit for prior sworn law enforcement experience. We are hopeful that this new contract will attract both new and certified officers to the Elkhart Police Department. We thank everyone who worked on making this a reality.”
“Many thanks to everyone who has been involved in this negotiation process and to the Council and Board of Safety for their deliberation and approval. It was time-consuming but well worth it for an outcome that is best for the officers and for the people of Elkhart.” -Mayor Rod Roberson, City of Elkhart

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