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Police, fire union accept pay raises from city of Pocatello

The Pocatello firefighter’s union accepted a 6 percent raise from the city of Pocatello on Wednesday afternoon. Their contract is set to expire in October 2020, so they are expected to return to negotiations next year.

The Pocatello Police Union finished negotiations with the city Wednesday morning, after the city offered a 5 percent increase to sworn officers.

After a brief discussion, the union accepted the offer.

The city says they’re pleased to sign the tentative agreements and appreciate the efforts of both negotiating teams.

“Employee compensation is always a challenge the City addresses each budget cycle. The City is constantly striving to balance the pay of general, police, and fire employees along with its other responsibilities such as parks and streets while recognizing the impact all these decisions have on the City’s tax levy,” a city official said in an email.

The union attorney, Patrick Davis, says the 5 percent won’t close the pay gap between Pocatello officers and officers in other cities across Idaho, but it’s a start.

“Moving forward, we’re hoping to have a much more collaborative process,” Davis said.

Davis hopes that next year, the union can negotiate for a multi-year deal, rather than a one time deal.

“Just so that we don’t have to take three or four months out every body’s lives every year to get the next deal done,” Davis said.

The city council chambers were filled with people showing support for the police union. A Facebook group called Support Pocatello/Bannock County Police, Firemen, and First Responders, that now has more than 1,000 members, encouraged people to attend the negotiations on July 10 to show support for the first responders.

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