Birmingham police, administrators receive raises
The Birmingham Police Officers Association (BPOA) union came to an agreement with the city of Birmingham for a three-year contract that includes a two percent raise in the first year, unanimously approved by the city commission on Monday, September 21, at which time they also approved two percent salary increases for department head and administrative/management personnel. City commissioners first met in closed session to review and discuss labor negotiations for the settlement agreement of September 4, 2020, between the city and BPOA, which is affiliated with Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM), for a renewal of their collective bargaining agreement for a contract effective from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022. It includes a two percent wage adjustment in the first year of the contract and a 1.5 percent wage adjustment in years two and three. The agreement also increased health care insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, as well as higher prescription and emergency room co-pays. “A modest adjustment in the second year to reflect internal equity, and an increase in the skills certification premium beginning in the second year in recognition of a new departmental annual compliance standard of training,” said human resources manager Benjamin Myers. In addition, the agreement included a joint statement on social injustice, which Myers said he believed may be the first statement on social injustice from any department, “and possibly from any police department in the state of Michigan.” The statement reads in part: “The parties affirm that racism, bigotry, prejudice and social injustice have no place in our society or in the law enforcement profession. To earn and maintain the trust of the entire community, which is necessary and basic prerequisite policing, law enforcement must consistently hold itself to the highest standards of ethical conduct and take action when those standards are not met. Police misconduct will not be tolerated, and the parties pledge to work together to minimize the potential for misconduct through appropriate training, reviews and communication of policies, adoption of best practices.” Myers said there are about 25 city department heads and administrative and managerial personnel not represented by a union, and raises are performance-based, and he said the HR department recommended salary increases of up to two percent for fiscal year 2021-2022. “Individual administrative and management staff do not receive automatic adjustments in conjunction with salary table changes as do employees in bargaining units. Actual increases for this group are determined through annual performance evaluations,” he explained. “HR recommends in-range performance increases based upon department head recommendations, and HR and city manager approval, for the department heads and administrative/management group, including part-time staff not represented by a labor organization.” In addition, commissioners approved increasing the cost of employee cost sharing for health care, consistent with other employee groups, effective January 1, 2021.