DENVER – The Denver City Council has rejected a proposed contract negotiated with the union for police officers that would have raised pay by 3% in 2022 while eliminating paid vacation days and reducing pension fund payments next year.
The council voted 8-5 late Monday against the deal, which critics said would have forced the reallocation of $4.4 million of city money at a time when the budget is strained because of revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The current collective bargaining agreement between the city and union expires Dec. 31. If the city and union can’t agree on another deal in new negotiations, an independent arbitrator could be called in, according to the city attorney’s office.
Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement on social media that he was disappointed with the council’s decision.
“Tonight’s decision by the Council is not only short-sighted and irresponsible – it also puts city employees & services further at-risk and cuts, & shows a total disregard for police officers who are willing to share in the sacrifices required by our current budget situation,” Hancock said.