One of the changes to the collective bargaining agreement that reflects the changing demographics in Oklahoma City is an increased premium on translators.
The city's population of Spanish speaking residents has grown significantly in the past decade.
“We're trying to hire more bilingual officers, obviously,” George said. “There's a huge need for that.”
Officers will be paid in tiers based upon their level of fluency.
Formerly, officers were paid $25 per pay period for fluency in another language.
Now, the extra pay will start at $50 per pay period and increase to $100 per pay period for the officers with the best language skills.
State law requires a new collective bargaining agreement between the city and police union every year, so negotiators will be back at the bargaining table in the spring.
This collective bargaining agreement is retroactive to July 1, and will be in effect through June 30.
Having to renew the collective bargaining agreement every year includes the drawback of city and union officials spending a significant amount of time each year in negotiations.
But a benefit is that it allows challenges to be overcome incrementally, instead of problems building for years.