LOS BANOS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The City of Los Banos will be giving a substantial pay increase to police officers, public safety personnel, and city employees to combat what officials call “unprecedented recruitment and retention challenges by creating competitive salaries in the Central Valley that exceed collective bargaining agreement terms.”

The increase will be between 10% and 17.5% for its sworn public safety personnel and all other full-time employees. Most of the raises are effective immediately, with a portion effective on July 1, 2023.

City officials also say they are going to provide lump sum bonuses to all full-time employees this year and in July 2023. These increases are above what is already stated in the City’s collective bargaining agreements with represented employees, currently set to expire in 2024.

“We are pleased to announce this salary increase. Not only does the staff deserve the bump, but it will provide a much-needed boost to recruiting and retention for our City,” says Gregory Wellman, Interim City Manager.

“Since the Great Recession, the City has taken a conservative approach to salaries, but this significant increase is needed to face the unprecedented challenges for our City employees, particularly police officers, which has resulted in numerous vacancies and a sparse pool of qualified applicants. Our goal is to attract the talent, knowledge, and experience the City is looking for,” he continued.

The City of Los Banos has experienced a budgetary surplus over the last few years thanks to a confluence of increased tax revenue and budgetary savings. As a result of these funds and funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, the City Council determined that salaries must be addressed in order to recruit and retain municipal workers, as well as maintain critical City services for residents.