The proposed three-year contract between D.C. government and the city's police department, revised to put more money into the wage base, has been submitted to members of the force for ratification.
The contract and ballots were mailed to members, and returns are due by June 26. The constitution of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, the union that represented police in bargaining, does not require ratification by the membership. But union leaders have said that they will seek to reopen negotiations if the outcome of the mail vote is unfavorable.
As originally announced, the contract provided no general cost-of-living increase in the first two years. Instead, all officers ranked sergeant and below would have received bonus payments of $2,800. That arrangement gave additional money while minimizing the financial burden on the cash-strapped city government because it did not increase the wage base used to calculate overtime and pension payments.
In response to what union Vice President Larry Melton called "feedback," and what leaders of rival unions called "outrage" from the rank and file, the union asked city negotiators to restructure the wage package.
It now provides for $1,400 in bonus payments in the first year and a half, a $1,000 increase in the base salary in the second half of the second year, and a cost-of-living increase of 7 to 9 percent in the third year. About 3,300 police officers are covered by the proposed contract.