Lawmakers approve settlement to hike new police officers' pay

The L.A. City Council approved a legal settlement Wednesday hiking the pay of police officers hired since 2010

The Los Angeles City Council approved a legal settlement Wednesday hiking the pay of police officers who said they were provided inaccurate salary information when they were being recruited.

The settlement with the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the rank-and-file officers' union, would end a 2012 lawsuit alleging city officials promised new hires salaries higher than those that were ultimately paid.

"Had [recruits] had the actual information, they wouldn't have come to work" for the LAPD, said Stephen Silver, an attorney for the league.

The proposed agreement will boost the pay of nearly 1,000 officers who were hired since 2010 at a starting pay 20% lower than that given to earlier hires. The deal would also hike starting salaries to more than $57,000 from about $49,000, said Jeff Millman, spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The council's vote comes one day after the council approved a $26 million settlement to end a lawsuit over a rule barring trash truck drivers from taking naps in their trucks. That deal will require the city to reimburse nearly 1,100 sanitation workers for lost lunch breaks, by providing an average of $15,000 per driver.

In a statement, Garcetti said the settlement with the police union would keep newer officers -- hired at a lower pay in response to the recession -- from leaving for jobs at other law enforcement agencies. "With crime down to record levels, I don't want to lose a single new police officer to another department," he said.

Settlement of the police salary case is expected to cost the city roughly $9.5 million this fiscal year. Under the deal, the average pay increase per officer will be about $14,000, budget officials said.

Both of the settlement's major provisions had already been offered by the city as part of a proposed labor agreement recently rejected by rank-and-file officers.

Union leaders said the agreement was turned down, in large part, because it did not include salary increases for the vast majority of the department’s officers. The group's president, Tyler Izen, welcomed the legal settlement, saying it would "stop the exodus of officers" who left the department because of the pay differential between new and older officers.

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