CMPD Officers Seek Higher Pay, But Lack Bargaining Power
Monday night’s Charlotte City Council meeting was packed with CMPD officers asking for a pay raise, along with several other benefits. Mark Michalec, President of the local Fraternal Order of Police told city council members CMPD is losing officers to better pay elsewhere.
“Our recommendations, we believe, would improve recruitment and retention as well as improve the morale within the department,” said Michalec.
Last year, the number of vacancies in the department hovered around 200, or about 9 percent of the department’s staff. A new CMPD officer makes about $43,000 a year. Experienced officers earn up to $66,000.
MARK MICHALEC: The FOP is asking for a 15 percent pay raise across the board for sworn officers, the reinstatement of retiree health care, the focus on a traditional PPO style of insurance, take-home cars for officers that live within the city of Charlotte, and a shift differential for those who have to work second and third shifts and the possibility of overtime pay for working on holidays.
MARK RUMSEY: This is not a union situation, so what kind of bargaining power or leverage do you have?
MARK MICHALEC: We really don’t. This is a right-to-work state. We're not under any kind of collective bargaining agreement or any kind of union. So pretty much we go in and meet and try to get our point across, understanding an agreement between the city leaders and us. It’s pretty much just having them see our point of view, understand our frustrations, and get our officers up there like we did last night to get the point across to try to understand where we're coming from. Hopefully, they do understand that. I think they do. The meeting last night seemed to be pretty positive. And they understand definitely the importance of public safety, but we just want to make sure they understand specifically where we're coming from.