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Wayne County officials reach contract agreements with police, prosecutors

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Sept. 20, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Sept. 20, 2023 02:54

(CBS DETROIT) - Wayne County Executive Warren Evans announced on Tuesday he reached ratified bargaining agreements with union leaders that include improved wages and benefits for law enforcement and prosecutors.

The county made agreements with the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3317, and the Government Bar Association, according to a press release.

"In close collaboration with dedicated union representatives, Prosecutor Worthy, and the Wayne County Commission, we maintain our focus on bolstering public safety throughout Wayne County. Through these agreements, our unified vision is clear: to safeguard our 43 communities by retaining and attracting the brightest talent," Evans said in a statement. "I am pleased our union members have shown their strong support of this vision through their overwhelming ratification of these agreements."  

Under the agreement with POAM -- which needs to be approved by the Wayne County Commission --  deputies, detectives, and corporals would receive 24% wage increases over the next four years. Upon approval from the commission, the workers will see a 13% wage increase. There will also be an up to $5,000 new hire incentive, employee healthcare contributions reduced to 20% from 25%, and employer-paid parking for all workers. 

An agreement with AFSCME includes a 23.5% wage increase over the next four years for police sergeants, lieutenants, and captains. A 7.5% increase was implemented in May 2023 after commission approval.

"This is great news, and I am excited about the results," Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington said in a press release. "The improvement in wages and benefits was not only the right thing to do but truly a step in the right direction for our department and the County of Wayne."  

The agreement with GBA was approved in August and includes a 24% wage increase for entry-level attorneys, with the starting salary now at $75,000 from $60,000.

All three agreements also offer $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 retention bonuses based on years of service, reduced employee health care contributions, and employer-paid parking for all employees.

"This new contract for Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys (APAs) is indeed historic and transformative. It makes Wayne County APAs among the highest paid in the State at every level, as we do over 65% of all the criminal prosecutions in the State. This, along with the other items that CEO Evans has mentioned, will make us competitive and will allow us to recruit and retain at a much higher level," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. 

"It will help us bring down our huge backlogs and has already attracted interest in lawyers coming and returning to our office. I thank CEO Evans for working with me personally for many months and the GBA for putting a team together to make this happen."  

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