Bowser, DC police union reach labor contract

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the District has reached a labor union agreement with its police force.

The contract, which has yet to be approved by the D.C. Council, includes a number of raises for Metropolitan Police Department officers, additional income for retention and a deferred retirement option.

Bowser called the move a fair agreement, reflecting the community’s support and appreciation, which critics alluded isn’t as extensive as the mayor may believe.

“This new agreement represents our ongoing commitment to attracting and retaining the best officers in the nation,” Bowser said in a news release. “We know that in order to have a fully staffed and resourced police department, we need to be able to retain talented officers who understand our community and are invested in building a safer, stronger DC.”

Robert Contee, D.C.’s police chief, said he agreed with Bowser’s description of the union’s negotiations as fair.

“These past two years have been some of the most challenging for MPD, with members experiencing constant staffing changes, numerous back-to-back deployments, and substantial overtime worked,” Contee said. “I am very pleased with the outcome and believe this agreement is fair for all parties involved.”

The announcement comes in the months after the union’s vice chair was placed under investigation for an alleged misdemeanor sex abuse charge and after reports of a steep racial divide when it comes to who experiences use of force in the District.

The D.C. Police Union said it represents the 3,600 officers, detectives and sergeants on the city’s police force.

According to Bowser’s office, the labor agreement reached between the police department, the D.C. Police Union and the District’s Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining includes the following:


  • 2021 — 2.5% (Retroactive to October 2020)
  • 2022 — 3.5% (Retroactive to October 2021)
  • 2023 — 4%
  • Total Wage increase — 10%

Additional compensation in the form of a Base Retention Differential

  • There will be a new Base Retention Differential at 5 years.
  • All members with five years on or more will receive an additional 5% on top of the wage increase.
  • This is retroactive to October 2020.

Deferred Retirement Option Program

  • The Department has agreed to form a committee with the union to pursue the development of a Deferred Retirement Option Program.

WTOP has reached out to the D.C. Police Union for comment.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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