C.T. Bowen, Milla Surjadi
Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA, Fla. — The City Council approved new contracts Thursday, giving 18.5% in raises over three years to its police officers, firefighters and other unionized workers.
The contracts with the Police Benevolent Association, Firefighters Local 754 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1464 include first-year wage increases of 9.5%, and then 4.5% in each of the following two years. The raises take effect on Oct. 1.
Under the current contracts, the salary range for police officers is $60,257 to $97,843, and for firefighters, the scale is $53,439 to $88,807.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor called the raises “both necessary and well deserved.”
“We can’t achieve excellence as a city without excellent employees,” said Castor. “Inflation has hit Tampa Bay harder than much of the country, and I felt it was important to stand behind the men and women who serve our residents so well.”
The city workers, she said, remained on the front line during the pandemic, “fixing broken pipes, testing our water, collecting our trash and recycling, and saving lives.”
Tampa City Council members shared additional accolades on Thursday.
“Those people give blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice to the city,” said council member Guido Maniscalco. “We are trying to offer folks a better life for the work and sacrifice they make here.”
Council member Lynn Hurtak applauded the decision, saying “It’s nice to know that we’re not just looking at OK salaries but we’re looking at competitive salaries that keep the best people here and bring in more good people.”
In a release from the mayor’s office prior to the council meeting, Steve Simon, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1464, and Darla Portman, president of the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, both lauded the work of city negotiators to complete the contracts.
“We are grateful they recognize the sacrifices and hard work on behalf of the people of Tampa,” said Portman.
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