The Joplin city council wrote a new chapter in the city’s story over police and fire salaries Tuesday night.
On an emergency basis, the commission approved an 11.7% wage increase for police officers on a unanimous, nine-to-nothing vote. The plan, as of now, fails to raise the starting or existing salaries of the city’s fire personnel.
Councilmember Chuck Copple, a retired Joplin firefighter, spoke about the compensation increases after the motion passed Tuesday night.
“Thank you all for working on this plan and this program. Please express mine, and I’m sure the rest of the council’s appreciation to every one of your lodge members for sticking with us and seeing this through. At least as far as this council person goes, we’re not through. This is just step one.”
The new plan had to be created after Proposition Public Safety failed by just over 1,000 votes last month. The new five-year contract goes into effect this Saturday and includes three percent annual pay increases.