Caraway officers to get paid by hour

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Caraway City Council held a special meeting Thursday, Oct. 17, to discuss police salaries.

Caraway Mayor Barry Riley explained to the council that since the city had an officer leave, Caraway Police Chief Pete Hicks and his fellow officer have been working 90 hours a week. The two get paid salary for 56 hours a week. Mayor Riley proposed changing the way the officers are paid to hourly so that even when a new officer is hired all police officers will get paid for the hours they work. Riley said it isn't fair that the two officers are putting in so much time but not being compensated for the overtime. He said when the city hires a new officer the officers will go back to working 56 hours a week but would still need to be paid by the hour.

"We will still come out $2,000 under budget for the year in the Police Department," Riley said. "The other problem we have is these two officers have vacation time they are not going to get to use even if we get a new officer this year."

Riley explained that Chief Hicks has 22 days and his officer has 10 days. The police officers want to sell their days back to the city because they won't get to use them and don't want to carry them over like they have done in the past.

"I want to start January with a clean slate," Chief Hicks said. "In January we automatically get 15 days, which is required by law. If we hire a new officer that officer will earn a day and a quarter of vacation each month adding up to 15 days for their first year. Then in January of 2015 they will automatically get 15 days of vacation and will not accrue them each month like they did their first year."

All council members were in agreement that the police officers should be paid by the hour so they are paid for the hours they work. The council unanimously passed a motion to pay officers by the hour and to make the pay change permanent. The Council also unanimously passed a motion to allow the officers to do a one time buy back of vacation time for this year only. Officers will have until Dec. 8 to decide how many days they want to sell back to the city. The city will pay the officers for those days on Dec. 15.

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