Brandon police officers will take home fatter cheques this year — and next year, and the year after that — under a new three-year contract that was approved officially at Monday night's city council meeting.
Sworn members will see general wage increases of three per cent in 2014 and 2015, followed by a 2.75 per cent increase in 2016.
Non-sworn members will get a 2.5 per cent increase in 2014, followed by two per cent in both 2015 and 2016.
That follows a 4.44 per cent increase for sworn members last year (plus a smaller boost in July) and 2 per cent the year before.
All told, police salaries have ballooned by about 50 per cent over the past decade. By the time this newest contract expires, in 2016, the base wage for a standard first-class constable will be more than $92,000 — up from less than $58,000 in 2005.
According to the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator, $58,000 in 2005 is the equivalent of $66,000 today.
The contract approval came as a surprise to at least one city councillor, and hadn't been included on the official agenda. It was also approved yesterday by members of the Brandon Police Association.
Other improvements to the contract include an increase in shift differential for non-sworn members (increased by 20 cents per hour), indexing for non-sworn members when they reach 12 years of service, a reduction in per diems when travelling and a commitment by both sides to consider job-sharing for sworn members.