So much for reports about internal dissent sinking a new contract between the Portland Police Association and the city of Portland.

According to figures obtained by the Mercury, 521 members (77 percent) voted for the new deal, announced tentatively by the PPA and Mayor Charlie Hales during a press conference on federal reforms earlier this month. Overall, three-quarters of the unions' nearly 1,000 rank-and-file members—officers, sergeants, detectives, and criminalists—submitted ballots.

The deal is a money-maker for many cops—restoring cost of living increases and hiking pay patrol sergeants, while adding seniority and night shift bonuses. It also softens provisions regarding drug testing for steroids, a controversial addition to the contract in 2011.

The contract will now head for Portland City Council ratification some time next month.

PPA President Daryl Turner declined to comment on the vote or the contract.
"I'm not talking about the contract," he told me.

Asked when he'd comment, now that his members have approved the terms, he said he'd comment after the council approves the contract.

A FAQ prepared by the union on how the deal breaks down, obtained by the Mercury, and previously reported by the Oregonian, is after the cut.

1. What raises will we get?

Every single PPA member will receive a projected 8.76% CPI-based wage increase over the four-year contract, as follows:

Current Top Step Salary

Projected Top Step Salary
By Year 4

Current Top Step Salary

Projected Top Step Salary
By Year 4

2. How many members will receive premium pay increases?

Over 81% of the membership across all classifications will receive increases in their premiums by January 1, 2014. By the end of the four-year contract, nearly 95% of the membership across all classifications will receive increases in premium pay.

3. How many members will see an increase in longevity pay?

Currently, 40% of members across all classifications will see an immediate increase in longevity pay. By the fourth year of the contract, 56% of members across all classifications will be receiving increased longevity pay.

4. How many members will see an increase in shift differential?

72% of patrol officers and sergeants will see their shift differential premium doubled.

5. Did the PPA make concessions in health benefits to achieve wage and premium increases?

No. Unlike other police associations across the country, the PPA did not make any concessions over the level of health benefits or on the 95/5 premium share.

6. Did the PPA make concessions in pension benefits to achieve wage and premium increases?

No. In fact, the PPA has increased pensionable premiums in the contract. Further, the PPA is continuing forward with its various grievances over changes to FPDR pension benefits, such as the 27th pay period and cost of living reductions to pension benefits.

7. Is the PPA breaking parity between sergeants and detectives?

No. Sergeants, detectives, and criminalists will remain on parity.

8. How are we not breaking parity if sergeants are receiving a premium?

Not all sergeants are receiving a patrol premium. 65% of sergeants fulfilling patrol functions will receive the premium.

9. Did the PPA “trade” the fitness premium for the canine hazard premium?

No. The fitness premium was redistributed into shift differentials and longevity pay.

10. Is OT comp disappearing like it will for the firefighters?

No. OT comp and the OT comp pay out remains the same.

11. What’s with the “unlabeled sport supplement” change?

This change to the substance abuse policy protects members who take sports supplements that are tainted with steroids or prohormones.

12. If I vote “no,” won’t the PPA go back to the bargaining table to get us more?

That’s highly unlikely. The PPA and City have completed the bargaining process under Oregon law. If the contract is not ratified, the next steps are mediation and then interest arbitration.

13. What happens at interest arbitration?

The arbitrator must choose either the PPA’s or the City’s “last best offers.” To win at interest arbitration, the PPA’s last best offer would not include most, if not all, of the new premiums in the tentative agreement. Given recent arbitration trends, the PPA’s last best offer would look like the current contract. That means even if we win at interest arbitration, we’d probably get what we have now in our contract and no more, leaving behind increased longevity, shift differential pay, and other premiums.