BOISE -- The City of Boise had the first day of their annual city budget workshop on Tuesday, and one of the things they discussed was a possible pay raise for police officers and firefighters.
City officials are working to set a two-year budget for the city, and among the $180 million general fund budget, enough for are possible raises.
"What the council is discussing today, is how much should they allow in the budget as kind of a placeholder to make sure we have a balanced budget, for whatever collective bargaining agreement in ultimately decided upon," said Adam Park, from the City of Boise.
The exact raises will be decided between the city and the unions, but in the mean time, the city is planning to set a certain amount aside for police and fire raises.
"They're going to set a placeholder amount of approximately 2.5 percent for police and fire," Park said.
Two and a half percent is not necessarily going to be the final number, as that will be determined in the months to come during union negotiations.
Currently, the lowest paid police officers with the Boise Police Department gets $4,011 a month, but with a 2.5 percent raise, it would give them around $100 more a month.
"In the last fiscal year, both the police and fire unions were contractually due to get a 2.5 percent raise," Park said. "But, because of the difficult times we were having with the recession, they agreed to forgo that raise, which we thought was a tremendous show of solidarity with the city and the public in general. To show that they recognize that we were going through a difficult financial period and they stood up and helped us out with that. So the mayor and council feel that it's appropriate to look at a possible raise now."
The raise will apply to most, but not to all fire department and police department employees. The union members, which is mainly made up of sworn police officers and firefighters would the ones to get the raises.
Boise City will host a public hearing on the budget at the July 16 city council meeting. If you can't make it to the meeting, you can also call or email the city council.