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Five-year Contract Ratified by Boston Police Patrolmen's Association

The new contract includes cost of living adjustments and significant reforms in discipline, paid details, medical leave, union release, officer retention, and educational incentives.

Today, Mayor Michelle Wu announced that a new five-year collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by the membership of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA), the union representing the majority of Boston Police officers. Since the beginning of her administration, Mayor Wu has made it a priority to achieve reform within the Boston Police Department (BPD) through contract negotiations, delivering the highest standards of community policing to keep our residents safe and ensuring resources for the health and well-being of police officers and their families. The BPPA’s prior contract with the City of Boston expired on June 30, 2020. Although the City and BPPA had officially entered arbitration in April 2023, ultimately the parties reached an agreement across the negotiating table rather than through arbitration. The ratification vote took place on Sunday, December 3, and Monday, December 4.

Mayor Wu (right), Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox (left), and Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA) President Larry Calderone discuss details of the tentative agreement with the BPPA in the Eagle Room.
Mayor Wu (right), Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox (left), and Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA) President Larry Calderone discuss details of the tentative agreement with the BPPA in the Eagle Room.

“I’m inspired and grateful everyday for the hard work and dedication of our Boston Police officers across every neighborhood and community,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This groundbreaking contract is a major step forward in how Boston continues to set the highest standards for community policing and ensure resources for the health and well-being of our officers and their families. I’m thankful to Commissioner Cox for his clear vision and strong leadership for our department, and to President Calderone and the BPPA for their partnership and shared commitment to our city.”

“I am proud to stand by an agreement between the BPPA and the City that recognizes the value that the men and women of the BPPA provide to the City every day,” said Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Larry Calderone. “I thank Mayor Wu and her administration for bargaining in good faith and for reaching an agreement that acknowledges the needs of the police officers who make Boston one of the safest cities in the country through their hard work and selfless service.”

“I am pleased we are able to come to an agreement with the BPPA. This agreement will compensate our officers for being part of the world-class police department that we are and represents a joint commitment to work together to make sure that individuals who do not represent the value of our City are not a part of our Department,” said Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox. “It has been an unprecedented few years for everyone. Throughout it all our police officers came to work every day fully committed to the people of Boston. Our officers have done tremendous work and it is because of their efforts and their willingness to partner with the citizens of Boston that our City remains one of the safest in America."

The new agreement covers the period from July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2025, at a total five-year estimated cost of $82.3 million, or a 21% increase over the entire period. This is the first contract in decades to deliver significant operational reforms, and the cost is in line with the most recent previous contracts (which did not include operational reforms):

  • FY21-FY25 - 21.0% over 5 years (a 4.2% average annual increase); negotiated
  • FY17-FY20 - 16.1% over 4 years (a 4.0% average annual increase); negotiated
  • FY11-FY16 - 25.4% over 6 years (a 4.2% average annual increase); arbitration award

Cost of Living Adjustments

The contract includes the following base wage increases to ensure officers are paid fairly:

  • Effective first pay period July 2020 (FY21) - 2.0%
  • Effective first pay period July 2021 (FY22) - 1.5%
  • Effective first pay period July 2022 (FY23) - 2.0%
  • Effective first pay period July 2023 (FY24) - 1.0%
  • Effective first pay period July 2024 (FY25) - 2.5%


For the first time, this contract designates a list of offenses that will not be eligible for arbitration as a pathway to overturn discipline or termination issued by the department. An officer will face discipline without arbitration if they are indicted for, or if a sustained Internal Affairs finding is issued and upheld for, a defined list of offenses.

These offenses are: indecent assault and battery on child under age of 14; assault and battery to collect loan; indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability; felony for hire; wanton or reckless behavior creating a risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child; mayhem; assault with intent to murder or maim; attempt to murder; murder; armed robbery; assault with intent to rob or murder; use of firearms while committing a felony; stealing by confining or putting in fear; rape; rape of child; rape of a child during commission of certain offenses or by use of force; rape of a child through use of force by certain previously convicted offenders; rape and abuse of child; rape and abuse of child aggravated by age difference between defendant and victim or by when committed by mandated reporters; rape and abuse of child by certain previously convicted offenders; assault with intent to commit rape; assault of child with intent to commit rape; extortion; kidnapping (weapons; child under age 16); drug trafficking; drugging persons for kidnapping; enticement of child under age 18 to engage in prostitution; human trafficking or commercial sexual activity; hate crimes (MGL c. 22C s. 32); and hate crimes involving assault or battery for the purpose of intimidation (weapons; punishment) (MGL c. 265 s. 39).

Paid Details

New Highest-Priority Detail Category

Boston Police officers previously were the only eligible personnel to perform paid details for events or construction sites that involve traffic disruption on City roadways, but many priority details went unfilled and had to be covered by mandated overtime at significant cost to the department and the City. To ensure the highest priority traffic details are covered to keep traffic flowing and to keep road users safe, the City will now categorize details by priority. Highest priority details, or Type 1 Details, are events and activities that pose a substantial risk to public safety, including major events with anticipated attendance over 5,000 people; utility or construction details at major arteries, in busy intersections, or in areas with heavy traffic; or areas due to an emergency. These kinds of details will be filled first before any others and offer higher hourly compensation. All other details will be considered Type 2 Details and compensated at the existing rate.

Expanded Personnel to Fill All Details

If details go unfilled by Boston Police officers, the open detail shifts can be offered to Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission certified officers, including Boston Police Department retirees, Boston Housing Authority Police officers, and college/university police officers. After details are offered to these groups, Boston Municipal Protective Services Officers and Sergeants and contracted civilian personnel will be offered the opportunity to accept the detail shifts. Opening up the detail system to ensure that other workers can perform traffic control will ensure better coverage of details throughout Boston and safer, smoother traffic flow on our streets. The opportunity for more workers to perform details also creates economic opportunity throughout Boston’s neighborhoods as trained personnel will have opportunities to earn income through detail work.

Eliminating Double-Booking of Details

This contract ends the practice of allowing officers who finish a detail early to start another detail, preventing the accumulation of double pay for the same period of time.

Streamlining Administration of Detail Assignment

Additionally, instead of the current paper system used to assign details in each police district, the City now has the legal authority to implement a technology based platform (i.e., electronic, web based or app based programs) for the administration, management and assignment of paid details across the city. Also, after fully implementing this transition in technology and administration, the sworn officers performing those duties will be reassigned for other needed police work.

Medical Leave

When contract negotiations began, roughly 10% of BPPA members had been out on medical leave, resulting in staffing challenges that have required forced overtime to cover shifts. The process to address extended medical leave through arbitration is long and complex. Under the new contract, when there is disagreement between an officer’s doctor and BPD’s doctor regarding an officer’s ability to return to work after being out on leave, instead of engaging in arbitration, an Independent Medical Examiner will determine the employee's fitness to return to light duty. This will simplify and streamline the process.

Union Release

The contract will reduce the number of officers attending to union business while being on duty and paid by the City. Specifically, the number of officers is now reduced to 45 shift representatives of the Association–down from 54. For regular Executive Board meetings, the City agrees to recognize no more than 10 shift representatives.

Career Awards Retention Program

Effective July 2023, this contract establishes a new Transitional Career Awards Program for Police Officers with five, ten, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five years of experience while eliminating the current Cumulative Risk Enhancement Adjustments career awards program. This brings police officer’s career advancement opportunities in line with those of the Boston Fire Department as a tool for retention at the department. 

Educational Incentive Plan

Boston Police officers receive salary adjustments to reflect continuing education incentives. This contract increases the qualifying schools to include the University of Massachusetts System, Northeastern University, and Boston University, and increases the qualifying degrees to include Sociology, Psychology, and Public Administration–aligned with the skills and training to further enhance community policing and improve organizational management.

Collective bargaining with the BPPA during the Wu administration began in earnest in March 2022. Eleven bargaining sessions took place between March and October of 2022. In late December 2022 the BPPA filed for arbitration. The state’s Joint Labor Management Council (JLMC) took jurisdiction of the case in late April 2023. There were sessions with the JLMC in September and October 2023. A tentative agreement was reached Friday, December 1, 2023 after a series of meetings over the course of last week, in which Mayor Wu was directly involved. 

Now that the agreement has been ratified by the BPPA membership, tomorrow Mayor Wu will file an appropriation order with the Boston City Council to allocate the funding for the contract.

Last month, the City and the BPPA also reached an agreement on needed operational reform for centralized booking. Beginning in November, as part of BPD’s increased enforcement in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, the Department is able to transport and book people at the Sheriff’s Department facility on Nashua Street—where there are dedicated supports for medical care, food, and supervision—rather than at district stations. The City’s goal is to implement this Citywide and will continue its negotiations with the other police unions to expand the program.

Read the signed Memorandum of Agreement here

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