City, union leaders extend police contract another year during coronavirus chaos

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia police union has extended its contract with the city for one year, as both sides agreed to put off negotiations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Negotiations started a few months back, but over the weekend, city leaders and union officials from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 agreed to extend the contract another year — with a 2.5% pay raise for officers and 2.25% increase for sheriffs, starting May 1.

“We did this now so our employees could focus on the health crisis on hand rather than months of contract negotiations,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.

The Register of Wills will also receive a 2% raise.

Each police officer will also get a $750 bonus. Sheriffs will get a $400 bonus.

As part of the deal, the city will oversee harassment claims, rather than the police department itself.

“Under this extension, allegations of harassment or discrimination will be investigated by the Employees Relations Unit, of the Office of Labor Relations, rather than by the police department,” added Kenney. “We are still interested in seeking discipline and other operation reforms in a long-term contract, which would be negotiated next year.”

The extension will last until the end of June 2021, and negotiations will resume this time next year.

“We would like to thank Mayor Kenney and his staff for their patience and diligence in agreeing to a fair and responsible contract extension during these current times,” said FOP Lodge #5 President John McNesby.  “Please continue to support our police officers, first responders and our doctors and nurses on the frontlines fighting this pandemic with passion and compassion.”

Leaders are working with other city unions — including Philadelphia Firefighters' and Paramedics' Union Local 22, as well as trade union AFSCME District Council 33 and District Council 47 — to extend their contracts as well.