Greater Austin Chamber Board issues resolution to support pay and benefits for Austin Police Department

Posted on 01/25/2024

WHEREAS the Chamber Board of Directors desires to strengthen public safety measures in the City of Austin and Travis County to ensure that the livelihoods of our citizens are safe and protected;

WHEREAS Austin’s economy, quality of life, and reputation hinge on the ability and willingness of elected officials, police officers, and community and business leaders to work towards solutions that keep Austin safe, promote tourism and business prosperity, and ensure justice, equality, and respect for all.

WHEREAS the Chamber Board of Directors supports our Austin Police Officers and greatly appreciates their tireless efforts to keep our community safe, enforce our laws and protect our citizens;

WHEREAS the Chamber Board of Directors supports Mayor Kirk Watson’s resolution (Item #46 on Austin City Council’s January 18, 2024 Agenda), which will direct the City Manager to bring to Council for consideration an ordinance establishing certain pay and benefits for the Austin Police Department upon the expiration of Ordinance No. 20230223-061 passed on February 23, 2023;

WHEREAS Mayor Watson’s resolution importantly includes, and the Chamber Board of Directors supports, the guarantee of current salaries for Austin Police officers, incentives for resumed negotiations and the establishment of a new police contract and a pay raise for officers if a new contract is signed;

WHEREAS the Chamber Board of Directors encourages the City of Austin and the Austin Police Association to resume formal conversations to reach a long-term contract agreement that addresses critical issues such as staffing shortages, police salaries and benefits, grievance processes and more;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Chamber Board of Directors strongly recommends the Austin City Council to approve Mayor Watson’s aforementioned resolution, supports the establishment of a long-term police contract to foster stability and commitment within the police force and stands willing to work with all partners in our city to promote public safety measures that ensure Austin remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Approved on this date: January 25, 2024

Rudy Garza

2024 Chair, Austin Chamber of Commerce