Council postpones vote on tentative agreement to give raises to Minneapolis police officers

Monday afternoon, Minneapolis City Council members decided to postpone action on a tentative agreement that would give pay raises and $7,000 in payouts to Minneapolis police officers.

The council’s Policy and Government Oversight Committee was scheduled to talk about the agreement but opted to postpone that until its next meeting on March 22 so the committee members have more time to review it.

“It has been, despite staff’s best efforts, I think it’s been difficult to get council members fully briefed, it’s been difficult to get all questions answered, and I know that council members are hearing from their constituents and wanting to get feedback,” Committee Chairman Jeremiah Ellison said during the meeting.

“I want to make sure that we are governing well by understanding what council members are being asked to vote on and I also want to make sure that we’re being transparent so that the public knows this item is before us and has enough time to look through it and reach out to their council members in a timely way,” he added.

The tentative agreement would give Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers a 2.5% pay raise, retroactive to Jan. 1, and another 1% raise on Dec. 31. The agreement would also include retroactive 1% raises for 2020 and 1.5% for 2021. A new agreement would be needed for next year.

Additionally, officers would receive $3,500 after completing MPD’s Field Training Program and another $3,500 after completing the probationary period. Current officers would get the first $3,500 payment immediately, if ratified, and would get the second $3,500 payment if still on duty at the end of the year.

New police cadet job postings on the city’s website list the starting pay at $21.46 per hour. Officers coming to MPD from other departments can make between $31.45 and $40.74 per hour.

The plan also would require mandatory mental health screenings for officers after a critical incident and updates discipline language, although it wasn’t immediately clear what those specific updates would entail.

Earlier this year, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, “Police officers need to get paid more and they also need to get fired more.” A note on the council’s agenda says Frey has reviewed the tentative agreement and recommends it for approval.

Following the committee’s recommendation, the agreement would be voted on by the full Minneapolis City Council.