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'We must work together': Minneapolis City Council votes to approve MPD contract

In an 8-5 vote, the council approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation for 2020-22.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council voted 8-5 on Thursday to approve a new contract for the Minneapolis Police Department.

The much-delayed collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation covers the period from 2020 through 2022.

The labor agreement includes gradual officer pay raises and bonuses. It includes a new mandatory mental health screening for officers returning to duty following a critical incident. The contract would also give the police chief more authority "to determine the proper duty location of a police officer after a critical incident."

In a press conference from City Hall Thursday afternoon, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he applauds the council for moving forward, but noted the city still has a long way to go.

"The council made the right decision today in approving the contract," said Frey, adding, "Is this contract perfect? No, it’s not. That is the nature of a negotiation of a necessary meeting of the minds. You don’t get all of the things you want, but I’m appreciative of of the council's work in moving forward."

Frey went on to say that he believes the department is making important strides to improve, saying the city will move "vigorously" to immediately begin negotiating the federation's next contract.

"We're committed," he said. "I appreciate the approach, which is to work with us in this office toward true reform into the future."

Prior to Thursday's vote, several council members spoke up in opposition to the deal, seeking to address concerns about accountability for the MPD following the murder of George Floyd by then-MPD officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.

"(This is) an agreement that's completely blind to the reality we lived through in the last two years," said Ward 1 council member Elliot Payne, who opposed the contract. "There's a lot of complexity in this that we need to address."

"This contract will not usher in the reforms ... necessary to overhaul our very dysfunctional police department right now," said council member Robin Wonsley Worlobah.

Some of the details were highlighted in a press release from the city, including officer incentives and mandatory health screenings for officers returning to duty following "critical incidents." The new contract also includes $7,000 continuity incentives for current officers — $3,500 for any current officers and an additional $3,500 for any officer that remains active through Dec. 31, 2022. Officers hired in 2022 may also be eligible to receive the incentive, according to the release.

"We've been at the table negotiating... for over 2 1/2 years," said Council President Andrea Jenkins, who voted in favor of the contract. "At this point, voting down the contract, to me, seems like a symbolic gesture. And this is not the moment for that symbolism. We must work together to create a process to get community input, to have that level of transparency that people are hoping for ... in the next union contract."

Like Mayor Frey, Jenkins noted that negotiations for the next MPD union contract will begin almost immediately, as the approved contract covers 2020-22.

This is a developing story. Stay with KARE 11 for additional updates and details.

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