Wilmington’s 304 police officers have reached a deal on a new contract that will see 2 percent pay raises in each of the next three years.
The new contract will help the city attract and retain qualified officers, according to Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. Starting next July, the starting salary for an officer will be $51,445. Officers will get a 2 percent raise in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“We believe this is a step forward in terms of providing a more equitable salary structure for Wilmington Police Officers,” said Dennis Leahy, FOP Lodge #1 vice president. “This gives us the competitive edge to attract the highest quality of applicants to this agency and better retain the hard working men and women that protect this city every day.”
Officers will have to pay an increased share of their health care premium. Officers had been paying 4.9 percent; the new deal will require them to pay 12 percent of premiums.
“I am very pleased at the progress we have made to control health care costs, bump up the salaries of our officers and increase the number of officers available for daily assignment,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki, in a statement. “I am appreciative of the FOP for working with us to achieve mutual goals.”
A year after his election as mayor, Purzycki reached a deal that took his predecessor almost his entire four-year term to accomplish. The FOP and former Mayor Dennis Williams publicly sparred over a new contract.
Officers worked almost the full length of Williams time in office without a contract, before finally coming to an agreement in August of 2016. The lack of a contract prompted officers to protest against the former mayor outside venues where Williams was scheduled to debate his opponents for re-election. In 2016, officers also held an unofficial vote declaring they had “no confidence” in Williams.