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Mayor Coleman's Office Provides More Misleading and Inaccurate Facts

(Mayor's) Spokesman Joe Campbell said a police officer with 20 years experience receives about $120,000 a year in total compensation, including wages, health insurance, retirement benefits, severance pay, sick leave, uniform allowances and other benefits and compensation.” – ‘St. Paul police press mayor for higher pay’ by Liala Helal, Minnesota Public Radio, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saint Paul, MN– In response to continuing citizen outrage and media attention over Mayor Chris Coleman’s unwillingness to ensure Saint Paul has the finest officers available and settle a 10-month labor dispute with Saint Paul Police Officers, his office continues to utilize misleading and deceptive tactics to confuse people with fuzzy math.

“The claim by the Mayor's spokesman that a 20-year officer ‘receives’ $120,000 per year in annual compensation is a gross misrepresentation of the facts,” said Jim Michels, Saint Paul Police Federation Attorney.  “By double counting some items, using the maximum benefit rather than the actual benefit for certain items and treating as ‘received’ amounts that are actually paid to other entities and not the officers, the Mayor’s statements about ‘total compensation’ are flat out distortions of the truth obviously made for the purpose of misleading the public.”



Uniform Allowances

St. Paul officers do not "receive" a uniform allowance.  The City provides a credit at a uniform store, but there is no money paid to officers by the City as is the case with Minneapolis police officers.

Severance Pay

Severance is a one-time payment upon separation, not annual compensation.   

Retirement Benefits

As required by statute, the Employee and the City make contributions into PERA based on compensation.  These funds are not “received” by the officers.  More importantly, because contributions are based on a percentage of wages, the cities that pay more in wages also pay more for pension contributions. 

Sick Leave & Vacation

Sick leave and vacation are NOT added to the annual wages.  The Mayor's numbers include the full annual salary PLUS a cash value of accrued sick leave and vacation.

Annual pay is annual pay regardless of whether the scheduled hours are all worked or some paid time off is taken.

Health Insurance

The Mayor is assuming all Officers utilize the family health insurance plan, even though only 40% of all City employees use this benefit. The City contribution for an individual plan is 1/3 that of the family plan.  Thus, the Mayor grossly overstates the City’s contribution toward health insurance.