Marysville firefighters and police officers successfully negotiated a new contract with city officials recently that will see both public safety departments receive a 20 percent salary increase this fiscal year.
City Council members approved the salary increases during a meeting in December. As part of the deal, both firefighters and police officers received a 10 percent increase retroactive to July 1, 2019. On Jan. 1, their salaries went up another 5 percent and will similarly rise on July 1, 2020, to bring the total raise to 20 percent.
Marysville Mayor Ricky Samayoa said neither department had received a significant increase in wages since he’s been a council member, dating back to 2010.
The city’s budget didn’t have enough to cover increases during that timeframe, while at the same time some other public safety departments in the region were moving forward with pay bumps, Samayoa said. However, the city’s financial situation began to improve once it began to collect on its sales tax increase – Measure C – and has continued to improve since.
“What was happening was that because both departments were at a lower level of compensation, we were losing a lot of folks to other agencies that had higher pay,” Samayoa said. “This will help stabilize that a bit and let people know how much we care about our police officers and firefighters. We want them to see this as a place where they can come and work and have a career.”
City officials and representatives from both departments began negotiations over a new contract last spring, which lasted until December. It was approved by City Council members during their Dec. 17 meeting.
City Manager Marti Brown said under the new contract, starting positions at either department is much closer to the entry-level pay for a Sutter County Sheriff’s deputy, which is the second-lowest paying starting position for area law enforcement agencies.
“For the police department, we are excited about (the salary increases) because it will help with our recruitment and retention efforts. It will allow us to keep the employees we have as (the increases) bring us closer to parity with some of the other surrounding law enforcement agencies that we often compete with,” said Marysville Police Chief Christian Sachs. “We also see this as a good tool from the recruitment side of things because we teach out at the police academy at the college, so we can try to utilize this while we are out there to try and recruit new officers.”
Aside from the additional funding made available by the implementation of Measure C, the city negotiated a contract with a new health insurance provider, which took effect at the start of the new year. That deal saw the city realize approximately $280,000 in savings, which helped cover about half of the salary increases and lowered employees’ co-payments for insurance.
Brown credited union representatives from both departments for helping get the deal done as well. She said union representatives agreed to a decrease in annual salary increases, going from a 5 percent annual step up to a 2.5 percent yearly increase.
“Overall, we’ll be able to sustain these increases because of the savings we’ve been able to make in other areas,” Samayoa said. “Our hope is that this will help with our recruitment efforts to become a bit more attractive to new employees.”