ITHACA, NY -- After a decade without a contract, Ithaca’s Common Council approved an agreement for a contract with the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association. A long-time point of tension between the police union members and Mayor Svante Myrick’s administration, the contract will run retroactive to 2014, and expires Dec. 31, 2023.
By 2022, starting officers’ salaries will be $55,652. The following year they will get a bump to $70,000 and by year four they will max out at $87,000. Sergeant salaries will start at $94,000 and top out at $102,000, and lieutenants will make up to $109,000. In 2023, all those salaries would bump up 3.25%.
For comparison, in the previous contract, the salaries for officers in 2011 started at $44,891 and went to $70,222 after four years. For sergeants, it started at $75,842 and maxed out at $82,702, and lieutenants topped out at $88,532.
Members of the Police Benevolent Association will be on the platinum Excellus plan and all members of the until will pay 20% of the cost. The police chief and deputy chief are not part of the Police Benevolent Association.
The base pay for officers does not include overtime, which has been a fairly sizable cost over the past few years as the department has been shorthanded due to officers out on various types of leave.
“This contract is one that will make us an extremely competitive place to work in law enforcement which should help with recruitment and retention, and should attract people into the careers of public safety,” Myrick said. “We’re looking for a diverse population eager to live and work in the city of Ithaca and I think this will help us do that.”
He did note that the costs will be felt by residents.
“It does come with a pretty hefty price tag, and this will be felt by taxpayers, but in return we should get top quality public safety and law enforcement service,” Myrick said.
Sgt. Tom Condzella, the president of the Ithaca Police Benevolent, said that “after nearly a decade of impasse and negotiations” that the union is glad to finally sign a contract with a city.
“Labor and the right to collectively bargain are hallmarks of the middle class and our commitment to workers and taxpayers. Together this agreement represents hundreds of hours of collaboration, negotiation, compromise, and teamwork,” Condzella said, on behalf of the union. “We applaud the Ithaca Common Council for ratifying this contract and understanding the need to create stability within the Ithaca Police Department. Recruitment is hard, retention is instrumental, and this one step forward to recruiting and retaining the best police officers to serve and protect our amazing community and to advocate for the rights of crime victims.”