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Austin Police Reach Tentative Contract Agreement With The City

Nathan Bernier

The City of Austin and the Austin police union have reached a tentative agreement for a new labor contract.

The agreement reached last night would give officers a pay raise and allow the city to expand its efforts on civilian-led police oversight. During negotiations Thursday, Austin Police Association attorney Ron DeLord expressed frustration with the process, calling it “theater.”

“In light of all of that, I appreciate the city’s willingness to come to the table,” DeLord said. “Even though no one gets everything they want, you want to advance the ball. I think the officers are better served to be under contract than not.”

Officers have been without a contract for almost a year after the City Council rejected a deal in December over concerns about transparency and accountability. Austin police have been working under a civil service law since Jan. 1.

The Austin Police Association still needs to vote on the contract. If passed, it will head to City Council for final approval. Council members are expected to vote on establishing an Office of Police Oversight on Thursday.

Nadia Hamdan is a local news anchor and host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT.
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