St. Louis City police officers have entered into a first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the city.
Jeff Roorda is a former state representative and current business manager for the police union. He says the agreement removes the main barrier the department had against local control.
“We’ve resisted city control for years and that was because we needed to have a place to resolve our differences and in the past that’s been the state legislature," Roorda said. “Now, we have a union contract and arbitration where we can resolve those differences.”
It's a three-year deal that locks in salaries, benefits and department operating procedures. Mayor Francis Slay called the hard work it took to reach the deal worth it.
"I think it gives us a good opportunity to have a stronger partnership and to work together more closely for a better department and one that helps us address crime and other issues in the city of St. Louis," he said.
The compromise would give police officers collective bargaining rights, preserve police pensions, and preserve officers’ ranks, salaries and benefits once they become city employees. There would also be a no-strike clause.