Boynton Beach’s police officers now have a newly designed step program that will reward each person financially based on the number of years of work at the department.
It’s the first time they’ve had the program since it was frozen in 2008, said Police Benevolent Association President John Kazanjian.
In the first year (2016/2017), the city will pay $395,434 to cover the increase in wages. In the second year, Boynton will pay $459,147 and in the third year, $385,068.
The City Commission signed off on the program Tuesday.
Also, the commissioners agreed to give the city’s white-collar and blue-collar employees represented by the union a 2.5 percent pay increase.
In September, the commission approved a 1.75 percent increase to the city’s firefighters and paramedics. And they approved a 2 percent increase for city employees not represented by unions.
Mayor Steven Grant said approving the raises and step plan makes him feel “we are really moving forward with the city services and city employees to make sure that Boynton Beach is a cohesive unit.”
With the approval Tuesday, the minimum pay for an officer or detective is $48,750 and the maximum is $76,690. The range for sergeant is $78,750 to $96,939. And the range for lieutenant is $101,295 to $125,269, city documents show.
From the first to second year of the program, the officer, detective, or sergeant would receive about a $1,500 pay increase.
In the past, negotiations on salary between the city and union have been quite contentious. That didn’t happen this time.
“We’re pleased. It went so smooth,” Kazanjian said.
Kazanjian said many agencies froze the step program years ago, and getting them back is a main priority of the union’s. He said Boynton isn’t where they’d like it, but implementing the plan was a “move in the right direction.”
Without the program, a veteran officer could make the same amount of money as a rookie officer, he said. It’s a moral buster, he added.
“We’re very happy,” he said.