City, police officials share details of tentative wage agreement

NOW: City, police officials share details of tentative wage agreement

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Mayor James Mueller, Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, Common Council representatives and officers of the Fraternal Order of Police South Bend Lodge No. 36 on Thursday announced the details of their tentative wage agreement for 2021 and 2022.

The announcement was made outside of the South Bend Police Department. 

A base salary increase of 10.7% by 2022 for lieutenants and supervisory sergeants and a base salary increase of 8.7% for patrolmen first class is included in the proposed wage agreement.

The new agreement would raise the pension base by 12.6% over two years.

The tentative agreement also includes an increase of longevity pay annually over the next two years, increasing the one time bonuses awarded to officers upon graduation from the police academy and for becoming a certified field training officer and an increase of the critical duty pay stipend from $150 per day to $250 per day.

The proposed contract also includes an increased incentive for officers to live in the city of South Bend. The proposal brings the $400 annual incentive in 2020 to $2,000 in 2021 and $3,000 in 2022.

"We're not alone in our attempts to attract and retain top-notch police officers and need to be in legitimate competition for them," Ruszkowski said in a press release. "We're optimistic this contract bridges the competitive gap and reflects the concern for our truly unique South Bend community."

The city said the police department is facing a shortage of sworn officers and has faced the shortage for a few years. 

The tentative wage agreement will go before the Common Council on October 26 for a final vote.

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