Skip to main content

A divided Minneapolis City Council approved a new police union contract Thursday, one that sets officers up for significant bonuses while making no changes to contractual disciplinary measures.

The new contract, approved by an 8-5 vote, provides a $7,000 hiring and retention incentive to Minneapolis police officers, paid out in two chunks (with the timing dependent upon whether they are a new hire or an existing officer). 

Supporters argue the financial incentive is desperately needed to rebuild the diminished force, which has about 300 fewer officers now than before George Floyd's murder by former officer Derek Chauvin, the Star Tribune reported last year.

A city Q&A document also points to one-time hiring bonuses being offered by neighboring cities — including $5,000 in Brooklyn Park and $10,000 in Roseville — as evidence Minneapolis needs to offer something similar in order to attract talent.

The new contract covers from 2020 through the end of 2022. Minneapolis police officers have been working sans an approved contract since 2019, with the city and union in negotiation for months.

Under the new deal, officers will get raises, some applied retroactively — 1% in 2020, 1.5% the following year and 2% for 2022. The contract also grants universal "market adjustment" salary increases of 2.5% as of Jan. 1, 2022, and another 1% from the end of the year onward.

No changes to discipline, grievance

Critics of the deal, even back when the tentative agreement was announced, began circling the discipline and grievance sections of the contract. 

As pointed out by Nick Harper in a Medium post, the language includes no changes to those policies. Meaning —

— the city's police force is in line for significant raises without acquiescing to any contractual changes to how discipline and grievances are handled.

This was a sticking point for some of the council members who voted against the new contract ("We're literally saying, please anybody come work for us. We're going to pay you more but you will not have to face any discipline," said Council Member Robin Wonsley Worlobah) as well as outside groups, including a coalition of local nonprofit.

"We are troubled by the lack of any changes around discipline in this contract," a letter signed by the groups last week says.

Supporters pushed back.

In a statement prior to the vote, the City of Minneapolis said in a statement to Bring Me The News that keeping these discipline and grievance changes out of the contract "reserves more managerial authority to create and enforce discipline policy."

The city's Q&A notes discipline and grievance procedures have to align with state law, and that Minneapolis "has no ability to bargain for something which conflicts with" those regulations.

Council President Andrea Jenkins also argued "manager control" is the best option for discipline, as it allows the city and department to "grow, evolve and develop disciplinary actions as they arise."

Some council members who voted in support of the contract also brought up arbitration as a factor. If they rejected this proposal, the city and police union would end up in binding arbitration, Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw said, which could result in an even less favorable outcome.

"We have another chance at this in the near future, and we will start negotiating the 2023 contract soon," she said, adding the next chief, whoever that is, will play "a huge role: in how officers are disciplined.

The approved contract now goes to Mayor Frey for review. He's previously said he supports the deal.

Here's how everyone voted:

  • Aisha Chughtai - No
  • Jason Chavez - No
  • Jeremiah Ellison - No
  • LaTrisha Vetaw - Yes
  • Michael Rainville - Yes
  • Robin Wonsley Worlobah - "Absolutely not"
  • Lisa Goodman - Yes
  • Andrew Johnson - Yes
  • Kamal Osman - Yes
  • Elliot Payne - No
  • Emily Koski - Yes
  • Linea Palmisano - Yes
  • Andrea Jenkins - Yes

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.50.05 PM

Missing: 17-year-old Waite Park boy last seen July 3

Police say there is no reason to believe he's in danger.

Melanie Valencia

Northfield bicyclist killed in crash identified as 14-year-old

She was riding her bike to soccer practice before a driver hit her last week.

Samantha Holte

Appeal to find 17-year-old Minnesota girl

She was last seen north of Fergus Falls.

Pixabay - water surface

Man's body found near empty fishing boat on St. Croix River

The boat, and an unoccupied truck found on the shore, belong to a 43-year-old White Bear Lake man.


Police identify MOA shooting suspects, issue nationwide warrants

Three Twin Cities residents were charged Monday in connection with helping the suspects escape.

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 7.25.42 PM

Charges: Best Western employees helped MOA shooting suspects escape

Prosecutors allege two Best Western employees helped the suspects escape.

election, vote

What to watch for in 2022 Minnesota primary elections

Bring Me The News brings you a breakdown of what to watch for Tuesday.

Aaron Peterson

Charges: Felon accused of firing shots at police during Meeker Co. standoff

The 31-year-old surrendered after a 28-hour standoff in rural Meeker County.

flash flooding

Weekend rain totals pushed 6+ inches in Minnesota, Iowa; 10 in Illinois

Big-time rain totals across southern Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, northern Iowa and northern Illinois.

Airport traveler flying pixabay

Man who had meth, guns in checked luggage at MSP Airport gets 10 years

Kevin Alan Aguilar-Moreno, 21, attempted to board a Delta flight to Phoenix in October of last year.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.13.33 AM

Family identifies man killed by police in Otsego

The 21-year-old was reportedly experiencing 'mental health challenges' and allegedly had a knife when deputies opened fire.


Minneapolis police

Minneapolis City Council approves additional funding for MPD

The approval comes days after a tense exchange between the police chief and council members.

frey screenshot committee of the whole youtube march 22 2022

Frey outlines new 'Office of Community Safety' above MPD

The office would oversee five departments, including Minneapolis police.

Minneapolis City Hall

Mpls. City Council passes cuts to police budget, maintains officer staffing levels

The City Council voted to keep target staffing levels at 888 after Mayor Jacob Frey threatened to veto the budget.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis City Council committee passes 2021 budget, Frey threatens veto

The budget includes the "Safety for All" amendment, which would cut nearly $8 million from the city's police budget to fund alternative safety programs.

Police chief Arradondo - 2021.10.27

Mpls. council president files ethics complaint against Arradondo, Frey

At the heart of the complaint is the chief's news conference about Ballot Question 2.

Flickr - Minneapolis police May 27 2020 officer less lethal weapon - Chad Davis

Mpls. council member releases privileged memo on 'less lethal' weapons

It says quite directly that the city council doesn't have the authority to restrict their use.

Bob Kroll

Minneapolis City Council committee votes not to provide Bob Kroll defense in lawsuits

On Wednesday, the Policy and Government Oversight Committee voted to deny Kroll indemnification in four lawsuits he is named in.

Hennepin Avenue S.

After Frey veto, Minneapolis council approves revised Hennepin Ave. plan

The new plan, which passed the committee on a 5-1 vote, mandates a dedicated transit lane along the corridor for at least six hours of the day.