An arbitrator has recommended an eight percent across-the-board pay increase for Tulsa police officers in fiscal year 2006-2007.
Contract negotiations between the City of Tulsa and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93 – bargaining agent for Tulsa’s police officers – began in February and later stalled. A two-day arbitration hearing was held in July before a neutral third-party arbitrator. The arbitrator’s ruling was announced last week.
“This is a great victory, not just for the FOP, but for the entire police department,” FOP President Darin Filak said. He said the salary increase would make TPD more competitive in hiring new officers and retaining veteran officers.
The city and FOP annually survey police pay in a number of cities similar to Tulsa in population and other demographics.
“Tulsa police officers historically have been woefully underpaid, especially when compared to our survey cities. The Tulsa Police Department continually ranks at the bottom of all compensation areas of the survey,” Filak said.
He noted “the low pay makes it difficult for us to recruit and retain quality officers, especially with our education requirements. We have to compete with area departments who pay more and don’t require a college degree.”
The arbitration ruling now goes before the City Council for approval.
FOP Lodge 93 represents more than 600 officers in the Tulsa Police Department.