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CPD officers to get 20 percent raises in new $600 million contract


The Chicago Council on Tuesday, September 14, approved an eight-year contract with the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) that will give rank-and-file officers a total of 20 percent in raises.

The final vote was 40-8. Alderman Jason Ervin (28th Ward), who chairs the City Council Black Caucus, urged his colleagues to support the deal. He acknowledged the agreement is “not a finished product on police reform,” but said it is a step in improving accountability for police officers.

Amid criticism that more police reforms should have been demanded before the contract was approved, Mayor Lori Lightfoot stood by the agreement. She pledged to continue fighting for more police reforms in ongoing negotiations with the FOP, even if that means ultimately going to arbitration.

“We fought hard to get this contract done, and in my view, it took way too long, but that’s water under the bridge now. It’s been passed, we’re going to be moving forward, and we’re going to continue our negotiations with the FOP that ultimately will lead to arbitration on additional measures or some workload changes, as well as other additional reforms that I think are critically important to get into the contract,” she said.

The contract expires in 2025 and will cost Chicago taxpayers a total of approximately $600 million, including more than $360 million in retroactive pay raises.

The new contract ends a four-year drought where FOP had no contract amid on-and-off-again negotiations with the city.

Lightfoot said she has already set aside about $100 million in the 2021 budget to help finance the retroactive raises. The city will reportedly refinance existing debt to cover the remaining cost. The contract also includes several changes to the process for investigating claims of police misconduct, including an end to the 40- year ban on investigating anonymous complaints filed against officers.

Under the new contract, CPD would eliminate a requirement to destroy police disciplinary records after five years, after an Illinois Supreme Court ruled last year that this practice would violate that state’s public records law.

Some aldermen suggested the city demanded more reforms from the FOP before approving the contract. “I think we need to hold out and finish the agreement. I think we need to get all of the protections that we’re looking for, all of the reforms we’re looking for,” said Alderman Maria Hadden(49thWard).

Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward) said the deal makes “real and meaningful steps toward greater accountability,” and disagreed with Hadden and others. Garza was concerned about having a rejected contract end up in the hands of an arbitrator, who would not require input from the City Council.

“Anyone who has negotiated a [collective bargaining agreement] understands that a contract is a floor, not a ceiling. It is a document which ensures that both parties can find common ground, work with one another to achieve mutual goals,” she said. “Nobody professes that this is going to cure all of the ills of the Police Department, or for accountability reform, but big picture-wise, if you look at this agreement, there are 36 separate provisions that we have changed that fall under the umbrella of accountability.”


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