A new Bath police union contract that includes two rounds of pay raises over the next two years, aimed at retaining and attracting new officers, was approved by the City Council Wednesday.

The contract, which runs through June 30, 2025, includes hourly pay increases of $2.50 for patrol officers, $2 for corporals and detectives, and $1.50 for sergeants starting July 1. On July 1, 2024, there will be a pay hike of 50 cents for all officers.

“This brings the city of Bath police union into the market range of other local unions,” said Finance Director Juli Millett.

During negotiations, Millett said city officials compared Bath police officer salaries with police salaries in Brunswick, Topsham, Lisbon and the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office and found they were lagging.

Sgt. Dan Couture previously told The Times Record other local law enforcement agencies have recently raised wages to attract new hires.

“These incentives had put Bath (police) wages significantly behind other area agencies,” Couture said. “We were concerned about recruitment, but more importantly, we were worried that we would lose our current officers to better-paying local agencies.”

The raises that go into effect July 1 will add about $50,000 to the city’s budget, according to Millett. First-year police officers will see a pay hike from $25.73 an hour to $28.23. A sergeant with five years of experience would see a pay bump from $34.49 an hour to $35.99.

The Bath Police Department has 19 officers and is currently hiring for one position. All officers except Chief Andrew Booth and Deputy Chief Michelle Small are represented by the union. Councilor Terry Nordmann said the pair are entitled to the 50-cent pay hike for all officers in 2024 per state law.

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