Duluth Police Union Local 807 Calls for Transparency from City Administration in Labor Negotiations

The wage and healthcare negotiations come amid one of the police department's worst staffing shortages they've seen in years.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth Police Union Local 807 is speaking out, asking for transparency from Mayor Emily Larson’s administration as they continue negotiating wage and healthcare changes — amid one of the police department’s worst staffing shortages they’ve seen in years.

Union members say they met with city leaders to talk about a 15% bump in pay to police officers’ wages.

But the Union says the supposed raise is not what it appears, because Mayor Larson wants to increase the cost of city employee healthcare in order to meet that raise.

While the proposed health insurance changes haven’t been made public the Mayor says they’re necessary to invest in raises.

But the Police Union says it wouldn’t be fair to accept the pay increase at the expense of other city labor unions’ healthcare.

In a letter this weekend, Duluth Police Local 807, which represents 140 officers, investigators, and sergeants on the force, said in part:

“Staffing shortages at Duluth Police continue to be a crisis. A recent night shift had only nine patrol officers working across the entire city. The Department’s minimum staffing level used to be 12 patrol officers. This was not an aberration. Our staff has continually been asked to do more with less. Our officers are underpaid and overworked. Our officers need help.”

This comes after all six city employee unions rejected the new healthcare proposal from Mayor Emily Larson, which would include a one-time five percent pay increase for all other city employees. They say they wanted to keep their strong pay fund.

A spokesperson with the City of Duluth told us Saturday that the administration does not comment on ongoing labor negotiations.

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