Negotiations between the police union and the city got heated yesterday, as members of the police union left during the middle of negotiations.
Akilah Lacey, the Vice President of the Pocatello Police Union, asked why the police deserved to be paid less than police in other cities for doing the same job.
“We are doing the same job as other people, so why do we have to do it for so much less?” Lacey asked.
Scott Marotz, a city attorney responded, “I think that’s your personal decision.”
Grumbling could be heard as Cory Christ, a union representative, stood up and walked out of the room. Several others followed.
Marotz explained he meant that everyone has to make a personal decision about where they work based on what the pay is. Marotz could not be reached for comment at this time.
After that comment, some police officers began filling out applications for jobs in other towns, according to Patrick Davis, the police union’s attorney.
“When they’re seeking an increase in pay, they don’t ask for a lot, they want honestly just enough that nobody will leave,” Davis said. “They don’t even care if they’re paid more than other people, they don’t really care about being paid market wages. They want to be paid enough so that they can stay together.”
The city’s most recent offer is a four percent raise. The original request from the police union was a 15 percent raise.
Negotiations will continue, according to a city official.