The Evanston City Council is scheduled Monday night to approve new four-year contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police covering patrol officers and police sergeants.

A summary of the contract proposals included in the City Council packet says the new agreements will provide a total wage increase to the sergeants of 30% over the four year term, while the patrol officers will see a gross wage increase of 23% over the same period.

Update 10:30 a.m. 1/23/23: Police Chief Schenita Stewart says there were errors in the wage increase figures included in the City Council packet, which will be corrected at Monday night’s meeting.

She says the sergeants will see a 26% increase over the four year term, with a 14% boost the first year and 4% increases in the second, third and fourth years.

The patrol officers will see a 27% increase over the four-year term, with a 18% increase the first year and 3% increases in the second, third and fourth years.

The big pay bumps in the first year of each contract are based on results of the Baker Tilly compensation study conducted for the city last year. That study indicated that many city employees were underpaid, compared to workers performing similar jobs for other nearby communities.

The city’s adopted 2023 budget calls for a half-million dollar reduction in Police Department salary and benefits over 2022 levels. It’s not clear from the city council packet how the city anticipates funding the pay hikes called for in the new contracts.

The contracts also would add Juneteenth to the schedule of city holidays for police and increase longevity pay hikes to 4.5% for officers who complete 15 years of service and 6.5% for sergeants with 25 years of service.

For both groups the contracts would eliminate a 6th step on the salary scale.

The city has yet to reach agreement with its two other unions — AFSCME and the International Association of Fire Fighters. As with the police unions, their existing contracts expired at the end of 2022.

Update 1/24/23: Both contract agreements were approved unanimously by the City Council Monday night.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. “The city’s adopted 2023 budget calls for a half-million dollar reduction in Police Department salary and benefits over 2022 levels.”

    How can this be when we are still so under staffed at the EPD?

    Our elected officials have created an unsafe city that actually requires additional policing supported by appropriate funding.

    1. You can blame activism and woke policies that have done zero to improve the lives of those they espouse to support.

      We are the ones hurt by this. Thanks Dems.

  2. When the city and police department brass allowed demonstrators -for months- to write horribly disrespectful things about officers and their families on the front of the police department, while the officers were out protecting the demonstrators’ and city officials’ safety and families, I predicted three things would happen:
    1. There would be a max exodus at EPD to the point the city could no longer adequately fill police shifts required to keep the streets of Evanston safe. Evanston is a very diverse and busy community, perfect for a police officer’s resume. Many neighboring communities preyed off -and benefit from- our former officers who Evanston paid to train.
    2. Crime would rise (it has). EPD doesn’t even investigate most ‘routine’ crimes anymore, and their response times to in-progress crimes have become comparable to Chicago’s. It used to be when you called 911, EPD was there in less than a minute. Think about that next time someone breaks in your house in the middle of the night.
    3. The city would have to vastly raise the salaries at the police department to make retention and hiring more attractive. Our neighboring suburbs, which have virtually no crime by the way, are paying way more. Why would officers remain in a community that doesn’t respect them, and do way more work for way less pay?
    I believe anyone with common sense would have predicted these three things would happen since our nice, safe, bucolic, suburban society does not work without law and order. And that requires a competent and fully staffed police department.

  3. A little bit of pile on if you don’t mind….Brian, I couldn’t agree with you more, very well said.

    During this defund “movement” I spoke with many police officers, and also made efforts to remove some of the horrific and disrespectful tagging in chalk by carrying 5 gallon buckets of water from my house. The police officers were so demoralized and our City elected officials simply allowed it to continue, in part due to the precedent set by allowing and paying for the ETHS basketball team to paint BLM on Dodge Avenue in front of the school. The defund protests were led and attended by nearly 100% young, white, females. I saw one of the protesters return to her parents $2 million home after one of the protests. One officer told me he asked a protester what she would do if she was being attacked or raped and she said “I would call the police”, the same department she wanted defunded.

    I share this spattering of anecdotal points to show how ridiculous, yet hugely damaging these defund antics were and continue to be for EPD and all citizens. Couple this with our “open arms” approach to bringing criminals to Evanston under the guise of being a sanctuary city, and it spells a doomsday scenario.

  4. Even a libertarian fiscal conservative can tell you we obviously need to be competitive with pay, unless we are pulling other levers (which we are not) such as higher quality of work life, job satisfaction, etc. If the city makes life worse for its civil servants through policy, it will cost us in the need for higher compensation or leave us with unfilled positions. Oh….instead of paying more or improving quality of work life relative to other job opportunities, one more lever to fill the ranks would be to lower hiring standards for civil servants (there is someone out there who is desperate enough for any job) but this clearly would have costs as well.

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