Missoula, Mont. — The Butte-Silver Bow County Commissioners will vote Wednesday on a proposal that would increase police officer's pay.
The Butte Police Protective Association is urging the Council of Commissioners to approve the proposal that would give the city’s police officers a 2 percent pay raise under a new matrix system.
The system is created to bring police wages up to par with what officers in other Montana cities make.
BPPA president Ryan Hardy says the contract has been in the works since July 2017. He says the union and Silver Bow County compiled the numbers of other Montana cities’ average pay for police.
Hardy says residents they’ve spoken to so far are in favor of the proposal.
“People think that we deserve it, that we’ve earned it, and it seems as if the public sentiment is that they are in favor of bringing us up to that median,” Hardy said.
Hardy tells NBC Montana they’re not sure how much the increase would cost taxpayers yet.
"Our hope is that they can budget for it without increasing taxes. We know they have money in reserves, and there's other avenues that they could possibly pull the money from to fund this. That would be our ultimate goal. We pay taxes here too, obviously we don't want our taxes to go up either,” Hardy said.
He added nothing has been finalized regarding how the county will fund the pay increase.
Hardy says the union is pushing to be paid equal to the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department. He says currently their average pay is $81,000 a year, while the police departments is $69,000.
“We’re not asking to be the highest paid, we just want fair compensation, which in agreement with the county was the median. That’s all we’re asking for,” Hardy said.