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  • Salary Survey

    My department is currently going through negotiations about our salary and benefits and such. We are a non-union department so I was just wondering how others are doing whether union or non. I am going to post a few questions and if you want to answer them then go ahead and once I have all the info I will post them all combined so It’s easier to read. If you would like just send a PM if it’s easier.

    1. What area of the State do you work in NE, SE, NW, SW?

    2. What is the population of the area you serve and is it a PD or SO?

    3. What is the starting pay and top out salary for your department?

    4. Are you getting a raise this year and if so what percent?

    5. What percentage of health insurance do you pay? and what is the total amount(dollars) per month?

    6. Do you have a clothing allowance? How much?

    7. How many years in law enforcement do you have?

    If you want to provide the name of your department great otherwise it’s not necessary and if you think of any other questions let me know

  • #2
    Originally posted by ten08
    Get a Union, trying to do thiws stuff on the cheap always ends badly
    Thanks but I didn't ask for advice about whether or not to get a union. We are a 3 man department so we are better off not having one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Get a union! Sorry not to answer your question. I don't care if you are a 1/2 man department....get a union. Take some advice from your elders. We have lived it and done it. Get a union.

      But if you don't want to take our advice.....you should be looking at departments in your area. It makes no sense to look at wages in Madison if you live way up north. The cost of living is higher in Madison therefore wages need to reflect this. I would look at departments within your geographical area, the size of the department, size of the area served and cost of living....sort of like your question asked.

      I do urge you contact any type of union and look into forming one. The benefits of a union are huge. All the way from answering your questions to assisting you if you mess up.

      When I was your age I questioned the benefits of a union too. The union has helped our department and my former WI department get wage increases that we could have never gotten on our own. The business reps. that have been provided to us by the union have been great and have assisted in get these wage increases. It sounds to me that you are just one step away from forming one anyway. Why not invest your time in looking for a union to help you rather than doing what you are doing here.
      Last edited by sigcopper; 09-11-2009, 06:46 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sigcopper View Post
        Get a union! Sorry not to answer your question. I don't care if you are a 1/2 man department....get a union. Take some advice from your elders. We have lived it and done it. Get a union.

        But if you don't want to take our advice.....you should be looking at departments in your area. It makes no sense to look at wages in Madison if you live way up north. The cost of living is higher in Madison therefore wages need to reflect this. I would look at departments within your geographical area, the size of the department, size of the area served and cost of living....sort of like your question asked.

        I do urge you contact any type of union and look into forming one. The benefits of a union are huge. All the way from answering your questions to assisting you if you mess up.

        When I was your age I questioned the benefits of a union too. The union has helped our department and my former WI department get wage increases that we could have never gotten on our own. The business reps. that have been provided to us by the union have been great and have assisted in get these wage increases. It sounds to me that you are just one step away from forming one anyway. Why not invest your time in looking for a union to help you rather than doing what you are doing here.
        Sometimes small town politics plays into not having a union and if that is what the three of you agree upon then so be it. However with more Sheriff's aggressively pursuing contract policing, lawsuits, lay-offs and work furloughs having a formal, binding contract that if violated by either side has reprecussions will only benefit those represented. If your Village board is worried about attorney's fee's for contract negotiations, arbitrations or grievences then some work (palm greasing) on your part can help calm those fears if presented properly.

        Probably THE BIGGEST reason to have a union representing you is the ability to have access to lawyers for FREE if you are involved in any sort of internal investigation, civil lawsuit or heaven forbid charged criminally for actions taken in the course of duty. Paying union dues is sort of like having term life insurance. You get no real benefit from it until you use it once. (of course w/life insurance someone else benefits) I've seen simple termination proceedings cost $10,000 in attorney fees with the union members paying nothing more than annual dues because they set up the right plan. Think of something simple like you're responding to a call w/o lights or sirens, you're going 10 mph over and you hit a kid who runs out between two cars. How will that play out in small town politics? Hopefully you have the right kind of small town and you'll be okay.

        Do as you will, but don't believe for one second that the Village Board will back you when the chips are down and things get sticky, especially when the media is involved. 2 million in lawsuit or fire the officer?

        Even if you don't form a union, become very well versed in employment law.

        Protect yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          1. What area of the State do you work in NE, SE, NW, SW?

          Central, just north of Wisconsin Dells

          2. What is the population of the area you serve and is it a PD or SO?

          City of 4200

          3. What is the starting pay and top out salary for your department?

          We top out after 1 year (thats rite, 1 year). We make $20.85 an hour top with 2.5-3% increases usually every year.

          4. Are you getting a raise this year and if so what percent?
          3%

          5. What percentage of health insurance do you pay? and what is the total amount(dollars) per month?

          Our health insurance was 100% paid last year, this year we have a $1,000 deductible for family, however we were able to convince the city to gives us a thousand dollar flex account to offset that deductible. That was part of our negotiations through the union. We give up 100% health insurance, but we got $1000 flex plan. They saved money and we weren't really out anything, however I now I fear we have opened the door on health insurance and they will ask for me every negotiation.

          We also have dental and vision, our insurance is very good.

          6. Do you have a clothing allowance? How much?

          $450 a year

          7. How many years in law enforcement do you have?

          2 with this department (12 total)

          Comment


          • #6
            I won't answer your questions because you need to determine with your employer what your comparables are. At least 6 similar communities need to be chosen. Size, equalized value and other similarities need to be chosen. The departments do not need to be in the same county, but they should not be on the other side of the state.

            Find those communities and get the information from them, get copies of the contracts or talk with the members of the departments.

            Good luck.

            Originally posted by woodtik25 View Post

            Probably THE BIGGEST reason to have a union representing you is the ability to have access to lawyers for FREE if you are involved in any sort of internal investigation, civil lawsuit or heaven forbid charged criminally for actions taken in the course of duty. Paying union dues is sort of like having term life insurance. You get no real benefit from it until you use it once. (of course w/life insurance someone else benefits) I've seen simple termination proceedings cost $10,000 in attorney fees with the union members paying nothing more than annual dues because they set up the right plan. Think of something simple like you're responding to a call w/o lights or sirens, you're going 10 mph over and you hit a kid who runs out between two cars. How will that play out in small town politics? Hopefully you have the right kind of small town and you'll be okay.

            Do as you will, but don't believe for one second that the Village Board will back you when the chips are down and things get sticky, especially when the media is involved. 2 million in lawsuit or fire the officer?

            Even if you don't form a union, become very well versed in employment law.

            Protect yourself.
            I firmly believe unions are important, but you must realize what they can and can't do for you.
            • They have business agents (not lawyers) to assist you with internal investigations. They have staff attorneys to assist the business agents when necessary.
            • Your employer (or most likely their insurance company) will provide you with a lawyer for civil law suits. The union will not "give" you a lawyer.
            • Criminally? Chances are the department has put on hold an internal investigation until criminal charges have gone through court. Or, they have completed their IA (through your union) and made their decision. I am guessing you would not talk during your IA. I really don't think your union will give you a lawyer to defend you with criminal charges, you will probably need to hire your own.


            Like I said in the beginning though, unions have their place and are important in Law Enforcement.

            Comment


            • #7
              A little off subject, but since union representation was brought up I thought I’d hand out some free advice.

              Your department can compel you to speak to the person doing the IA after you are given the Garrity warning. What information given at that time can’t be used against you in court but can be used against you for any discipline. Normally, if you are being charged with a crime, the criminal matter will go through prior to an IA. If you are being charged with a crime, normally, you aren’t given Garrity and you are given Miranda.

              Don’t forget there is a also implied Garrity such as when your boss asks what happened to warrant a complaint or why did you shoot that guy. This information is covered under Garrity and your statement can’t be used against you in court. Remember, do not lie! If you do, and if you aren’t fired (I'd find it hard to believe you wouln't be), the fact that you lied to your boss has to be turned over to your DA and this can impeach you from any future court hearing.

              You can be provided an attorney from the union if you are being charged with a crime. I’ve seen it, so I know it can and is done. MPPOA has some excellent criminal defense attorneys on their payroll. I would imagine WPPA do too.

              All is true, or the way I understand, it in MN and I think WI law would be close if not mirror MN law. If I’m wrong, please let me know.
              Last edited by sigcopper; 09-14-2009, 06:31 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I work in a couple different counties. Here is department #1

                1. What area of the State do you work in NE, SE, NW, SW?

                SE, but south central would be more accurate.

                2. What is the population of the area you serve and is it a PD or SO?

                PD, population around 3,300.

                3. What is the starting pay and top out salary for your department?

                01-01-09 numbers: Starting pay $20.27 an hour. Officers top out after only 12 months. Top pay is $22.93 after 12 months. Shift differential of 15 cents an hour between 3p-11p and 20 cents an hour between 11p-7a.

                4. Are you getting a raise this year and if so what percent?

                Yes. 3% total. Split 1% at the start of the year and then 2% after July 1.

                5. What percentage of health insurance do you pay? and what is the total amount(dollars) per month?

                5%. Unknown dollar amount.

                6. Do you have a clothing allowance? How much?

                $475 a year.

                7. How many years in law enforcement do you have?

                10+

                Also: 10 paid holidays. Holidays can be used as days off if you don't want them paid out. If you work a holiday, you get time and a half. There is also longevity pay, but I don't recall how much it is or when it kicks in.
                Last edited by Badgerland; 09-14-2009, 03:24 AM. Reason: .
                "I assume you all have guns and crack."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Department #2

                  1. What area of the State do you work in NE, SE, NW, SW?

                  SW, but again south central would be more accurate.

                  2. What is the population of the area you serve and is it a PD or SO?

                  PD, population around 7,000.

                  3. What is the starting pay and top out salary for your department?

                  01-01-09 numbers: Starting pay $20.55 an hour. Officers top out after 18 months. Top pay is $22.83 after 18 months. Shift differential of 25 cents an hour between 6p-6a.

                  4. Are you getting a raise this year and if so what percent?

                  Yes. I believe it is 4%.

                  5. What percentage of health insurance do you pay? and what is the total amount(dollars) per month?

                  We pay $35 a month for single plan and $60 a month for family.

                  6. Do you have a clothing allowance? How much?

                  $500 a year.

                  7. How many years in law enforcement do you have?

                  10+

                  We also get 8 paid holidays and 3 floating holidays. Holidays can be used as days off if you don't want them paid out. If you work a holiday, you get time and a half. We also have longevity pay of $45 per year of service, starting after the officer has been on for 3 years.
                  "I assume you all have guns and crack."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just a couple things about unions. They cannot prevent a community board from completely disbanding the department. I live in a small town in Dane County and our local police department was disbanded and there was nothing the union could do about it. As a matter of fact, the whole point that the 3-man department had become unionized was brought up at the meeting to disband the department.

                    Make sure you have a good union, and make sure they are there for you. I got into a bind a couple years back with my old department. (Policy violation.) Teamsters absolutely refused to provide me with an attorney during my second meeting with the Chief about the issue. They did not provide one at the first meeting either. The Chief had hired his own attorney, but no way was Teamsters going to get me one.

                    The Teamsters rep. said that they would provide me an attorney at the Police and Fire Commission hearing. Hey, how about getting me an attorney so the incident doesn't have to go to the PFC?

                    With my new department, I've seen WPPA provide an attorney at the very first meeting with the Chief after a different officer was accused of violating policy.


                    Also sigcopper, what are the Tennessen warnings? Is that the same as Garrity?
                    "I assume you all have guns and crack."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good catch. I meant Garrity. Tennessen is a MN thing dealing private data. I fixed the above.
                      Last edited by sigcopper; 09-14-2009, 06:31 AM.

                      Comment

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