We are pleased to see the Brawley City Council and the Brawley Public Safety Employees Association have ended a contract dispute that lasted nearly a year. The settlement appears fair for both sides and we are hopeful it will lead to a renewed desire among police officers to stay in the city.
For much too long the contract dispute was a source of division in Brawley, even if council members say that was not the case. If you have experienced police officers opting to leave the city over a contract dispute, there is division. Whether that was the fault of the council for not offering enough or police for demanding too much is hard to say. Frankly, it doesn't matter anymore.
The settlement is in effect a three-year contract that gives police and support staff a 5 percent pay increase retroactive to July 2000, a 3.5 percent raise in 2001 and a 3.5 percent increase for 2002. On top of that police officers get a better retirement package, a 5-percent bilingual pay increase and more chances to receive step increases within the rank of agent.