City works to extend union contracts as COVID-19 cases top 1,000

Philadelphia officials on Monday announced a 1-year contract extension with the city’s police union and said they are in talks with labor groups representing other city workers in an attempt to avoid extended negotiations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mayor Jim Kenney said agreements with the four unions that represent city workers were set to expire in June, when the virus may still be wreaking havoc.

“We did this now so our employees could focus on the health crisis at hand rather than months of contract negotiations,” Kenney said during his daily press briefing.

The extension with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 includes a 2.5 percent pay increase for officers and smaller increases for members who work in the sheriff’s office and for the register of wills.

Police officers will notice the pay spike starting May 1, along with a $750 bonus, according to the FOP. The city will also kick in $4.5 million to an employee retirement fund, the union said.

Under the agreement, accusations of harassment and discrimination will be handled by the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations, rather than the police department itself.

Kenney said he is still planning to push for disciplinary changes and other

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