An arbitrator has awarded the Portland, Ore., police union an 8.2 percent wage increase over the three years of its 2002-05 contract. The ruling could cost the city $7 million, not including health care costs, reports The Oregonian. “It is clear from the record that the city has the ability to fund the association’s wage package,” wrote arbitrator Carlton Snow.
Snow, former dean of Willamette Law School, cases, said the 21 days of hearings and the approximately 200 pounds of evidence “was unique in the Northwest for its length, the gargantuan record and the intensity of advocacy.”
Portland Police Association President Robert King said, “this is a vindication for us.” The union has 944 members. The arbitrator found that Portland police entry-level pay is “considerably behind” comparable cities in Oregon and out-of-state. Snow lamented the bureau’s decision to abandon its college-graduation requirement for recruits. Currently, two-thirds of the union’s members are college-educated with an average tenure of 11 years on the force. “A better-educated bureau is in the public interest and advancing this goal requires competitive wages,” Snow wrote.