Apr 30, 2024 - News

Columbus approves new police contract

Photo illustration of a Columbus police cruiser with lines emanating from it.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Columbus police officers are getting increased pay and job flexibility under a new collective bargaining agreement approved by the City Council on Monday night.

State of play: The agreement, which covers around 1,850 uniformed employees, runs through Dec. 8, 2026.

  • Officers will receive a trio of 5% across the board pay increases expected to cost a total of about $80 million.
  • The first increase is retroactive to Dec. 9, 2023, with the next two coming in December 2024 and 2025.

Flashback: A previous version of the agreement stipulated officers could undergo polygraph tests if they are the "primary focus of an investigation, known witness to an incident" or if the officer requests one.

  • The new agreement states polygraph tests "shall not be administered to bargaining unit members."

Another change involves a tuition reimbursement program available after the completion of voluntary coursework for those with at least one year of service.

  • Previously, employees had to stay employed with the city for two years after completing their course work or else repay the tuition.
  • The new agreement removes that requirement, freeing officers to leave the department immediately upon completion.
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