Via the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
The city is handcuffing efforts to negotiate pay raises for police because of an outdated city charter provision that requires wage parity with firefighters, according to a lawsuit filed by the officers’ union Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association, which represents the majority of the officers, asks that a judge declare invalid a part of the charter requiring that officers and firefighters earn comparable wages.
The union says the pay-parity law became obsolete when City Hall took over control of the police department from a state-appointed board in 2013.
“Under the city’s interpretation (of the charter), they can give firefighters a raise without giving the cops a raise, but the opposite isn’t true,” said Jeff Roorda, business manager for the association. “That puts us in a terribly disadvantageous bargaining position.”
Roorda stressed that the lawsuit was not against firefighters.