Mayor Weinberger Announces Successful Negotiation and Ratification of City Contracts with Police Union

Burlington, Vt. – Tonight, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the successful negotiation of a three-year contract with the Burlington Police Officers Association (BPOA), which provides a much-needed component to the City’s effort to rebuild the Burlington Police Department, while also making important progress on high priority police accountability issues.


The police union contact was ratified by the City Council during its July 25 special meeting. The contract, which includes 20 percent base pay increase over three years, builds upon the BPD Rebuilding Plan, which was approved last month by City Council as part of the FY 23 budget. The contract was approved by the City Council 10-1, with one Councilor not present.


“This contract represents major community progress at a time when we are facing serious public safety challenges and an urgent need to rebuild the Burlington Police Department,” said Mayor Weinberger. “I am grateful to the City Council, the BPOA, and our officers for recognizing this and finding a way to come together and avoid an extended, damaging, labor dispute.  I am also grateful to the City’s negotiating team and City Council President Karen Paul for their hard work to get to tonight’s strong Council ratification of the contract.”

Summary of Major Contract Terms

As part of the Fiscal Year 2023 budget process, Mayor Weinberger identified that a strong contract with the BPOA would be a critical step to rebuild the BPD back to the 87-officer authorized cap (there are currently 62 officers on staff).


The negotiated contract achieves that goal by offering police officers a 20 percent base pay increase over three years, including a 12 percent increase in the FY 23 (in years two and three the increases mirror the terms of the recently approved AFSCME contract). This increased compensation puts the Burlington Police Department in a very competitive position with respect to other Vermont police departments, including the State Police, improving the City’s ability to attract both new recruits and  lateral transfers of officers from other agencies, and to prevent improve the retention of current officers.

The City also successfully negotiated important police accountability provisions, including:

  • Increasing the time the City can retain disciplinary records, and clarifying that some records may be retained permanently. Under the agreed upon contract, records regarding use of force violations and other serious policy violations can be retained by the Department permanently; records will now be retained for non-disciplinary files and letters of reprimand for two years; and records for suspensions will be retained for four years;
  • Changing the disciplinary interview process to be consistent with best practice from police oversight advocates;
  • Clarifying and enhancing the Police Commission’s and Mayor’s access records during misconduct investigations, and codifying that the Police Commission can play both an advisory role to the Chief prior to the issuance of a disciplinary decision, and serve as an appeals body.
  • New contract provisions that prevent officers that have been fired for disciplinary reasons in other law enforcement agencies from being hired by the BPD.

The City has now ratified contracts with three of the City’s four unions, including: American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) on July 18; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) contract on June 27. Negotiations have begun with the Burlington Firefighters Association and bargaining is ongoing.

Since first being elected, Mayor Weinberger has sought to reach agreements with the City’s unions at the negotiating table, instead of through binding arbitration. With the Council's approval of the BPOA contract tonight, Mayor Weinberger’s administration has succeeded at this for the last 11 contracts dating back to 2014.


To read City Council’s Resolution, click here

To read the BPOA Contract, click here 



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City Department: 
Mayor's Office