Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes says he's glad a labor contract dispute over pay increases for himself and his top administrators was resolved Tuesday.
It's a negotiation,” Hayes said after the City Council approved the new contract in a 7-0 vote. “At the end of the day, it's nice to come up with a resolution.”
Tuesday's vote came several weeks after a majority of council members rejected the proposed agreement negotiated by Mayor Jim Suttle and instead asked for smaller raises for Hayes and his four assistant chiefs.
Suttle's administration had said the pay hikes, which followed a three-year wage freeze, would bring Omaha in line with comparable cities and also extract broad concessions from the police managers on pension and health benefits.
Council members later agreed to reconsider the contract, saying a compromise was in the works.
The initial deal included pay hikes of between 18 percent and nearly 27 percent for Hayes and his assistant chiefs. Hayes' salary, for example, would have increased from $130,658 to $165,670.
Council members approved a plan Tuesday to pay Hayes about $146,000. His assistant chiefs, now are paid up to $113,900, will receive up to $127,000 a year. They worked for the past three years under a pay freeze. Hayes and the assistant chiefs — Dave Baker, Elizabeth Davis, Mary Newman and Todd Schmaderer — are covered by the police management contract, which is separate from the police union contract that was approved by the council last year.