KU police, security officers get salary bumps in new bargaining agreement

photo by: Sara Shepherd

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016

Police and security officers in the University of Kansas’ Public Safety Office will see salary increases for the first time since 2016 as part of a new bargaining agreement approved Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Changes to the agreement between KU and the KU Police Officers Association will raise the starting pay for security officers just over 14%, from $26,309 to $30,000.

Police officers will see a salary increase of 1% in fiscal year 2021, 2% in fiscal year 2022 and 3% in fiscal year 2023 — after they complete a probationary term of employment.

All told, the new agreement will cost an estimated $118,000 over the next four fiscal years, according to data provided to the board. KU spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson told the Journal-World that those funds would come out of the Public Safety Office budget.

In February 2019, KUPOA asked to reopen the agreement for negotiation, and those discussions took place from July until the new agreement was reached recently. The Board of Regents approved the changes Wednesday with no discussion.

“For the last 20 or so years, the KUPOA has been the bargaining unit for KU security and police officers working on the Lawrence campus,” Barcomb-Peterson said. “This was a routine reopening of the agreement.”

As part of the new agreement, there are now stipulations for how often police and security officers must staff “major events” — namely home football and basketball games. This section was added, Barcomb-Peterson said, because it was not addressed in the previous agreement.

Officers must staff home sporting events, and they are allowed to be excused from one basketball game and one football game per season. If they work during a game, provisions should be in place so they can start their shifts early or late to compensate for the extra hours.

The new agreement will be effective for two years and can next be opened for negotiations between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 of 2021.


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