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Proposed Bill Would Offer D.C. Cops And Firefighters Cost-Of-Living Raises

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Police officers and firefighters in D.C. would be entitled to cost-of-living salary adjustments under legislation proposed by Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) on Tuesday.

The measure would apply the three percent adjustments retroactively.

Wells, the chairman of the Council's public safety and judiciary committee, says in a statement that the city's first responders put themselves in harm's way and that it's "outrageous'' for the government to not provide them with a basic cost-of-living adjustment.

He says police officers have worked without a cost-of-living adjustment for more than six years, and firefighters have been without one for three years.

The officers and firefighters would be entitled to the increases even if a collective bargaining agreement has not been met.

Kris Baumann, head of the police union applauded the move, saying in a statement that "in one day Tommy Wells and the Council have done more to stabilize police attrition and hiring than the current and past mayoral administrations have done in seven years."

A spokesman for Mayor Vincent Gray said Wells' bill was election-year pandering. Wells is running against Gray for the city's top elected office.

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