Regents approve raise for U police officers, sergeants

by Brad Ellingson

After more than a year of negotiations, the Board of Regents approved a raise for University police officers Thursday, putting their salaries on par with other metropolitan police officers.

Law Enforcement Labor Services – the union representing police officers and sergeants – agreed on a 3 percent retroactive increase for officers system-wide, effective Dec. 31, 2001.

LELS notified the University in February that they had ratified the agreement and awaited the mandatory regents’ approval.

Officers can anticipate another increase of the same magnitude this December.

University police sergeants will receive an additional 2.5 percent increase this year to maintain market competitiveness, followed by another 2.5 percent for 2003.

“We came to an agreement that I think is really beneficial for the officers and the University,” said University police Capt. Steve Johnson.

University police Lt. Charles Miner said the sergeants’ raise is based on a comparison with sergeants from local suburban communities of more than 25,000 people.

Miner said University police officers’ salaries are similar to others in local communities.

Regents’ approval is required for labor agreements.

Patti Dion, acting director of University employee relations, said employees will receive 5 cents extra per hour for working between 2 p.m. and midnight and 20 cents extra for 9:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shifts.

The University police force has 45 officers system-wide, and more than 30 officers work on the Twin Cities campus.

Regent David Metzen said the salary increases are justified.

“I’m very impressed by the image and professionalism of the University police department,” he said.