ST. LOUIS — St. Louis police officers and firefighters got an additional $1,000 in their paychecks on June 26 — the last of the one-time pay bumps the mayor’s office gave to city employees across the board this year.
The move cost about $1.2 million for police officers and about $800,000 for firefighters.
About 3,500 city employees got the one-time pay bumps in their April paychecks, but police officers were still negotiating with the city on pension issues, according to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's spokesperson, Jacob Long.
The city has about 6,000 employees, 1,200 of which are police officers and 800 are firefighters, Long said.
In all, the city spent between $5 and $6 million from the general fund on the pay increases, Long said.
“It was to express the mayor’s appreciation and support for the hard work they do day in and day out,” Long said, adding that Krewson decided to allocate the additional money in January. “Our city employees have had to do a lot of jobs, we have a lot of vacancies.
“We held off on the additional compensation for police officers with the intent that we would eventually get there, then COVID hit and the whole world changed. We did this now because we wanted to be sure our police and firefighters were treated like every other city employee and show our appreciation for the hard work they do in these trying times.”
The mayor’s office had to pay out the one-time $1,000 increases before the end of the fiscal year, which is July 1.
Police and firefighters in the city have a pay parity rule, which means they must get the same pay increases in tandem.
St. Louis Police Officers Association leaders lauded the increases.
“It was a product of the union’s conversation with the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Personnel about rewarding our beleaguered officers who have weathered an unprecedented health crisis and civil disobedience,” said Jeff Roorda, the union’s business manager. “Obviously we felt officers deserved a lot more, but we’re also sympathetic to the fact that COVID blew a $38 million hold in the city’s budget.”
The last time Roorda remembers the city giving one-time increases like this to police officers happened during Chief Joe Mokwa’s administration during the holiday season. He served as police chief from 2001 to 2008.
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