Toronto police officers will receive a pay hike that amounts to 11.1 per cent over the next five years, under the terms of a yet-to-be ratified contract, according to the Toronto Star.

In a report published on Wednesday, the newspaper said that the proposed deal also includes a three per cent pay bump for frontline officers who are tasked with responding to 911 calls, provided that they have been employed by the Toronto Police Service for more than five years as of September.

That pay increase would be in addition to the 11.1 per cent pay hike that would be phased in over the next five years, beginning with a retroactive increase of 2 per cent that would take effect immediately.

The average base salary for a first class constable, which is the highest tier in that rank, is currently $98,452.

“I don’t want to get into the details of this as our members haven’t ratified it but one of the things we wanted reflected in this contract is the difficulty faced by our frontline officers who are going out there and responding to those calls each and every day with limited resources and an increased workload,” Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack told CP24 on Thursday afternoon. “That was something we wanted reflected in this contract and I believe the city and the association did address that issue in this contract.”

Police get better deal than other unions under proposal

The tentative agreement with the Toronto Police Association would provide both uniformed and civilian employees with a wage increase that far exceeds the increases handed out to other unionized city workers in recent years.

In 2016, the city came to separate, but largely identical, agreements with the unions representing its 21,000 inside workers and 6,000 outside workers. Those agreements included a five per cent pay increase over four years but also included the removal of some job security provisions.

Asked about the disparity on Thursday, McCormack said that his only responsibility is to ensure that officers “who do this difficult job of keeping the city safe” are compensated fairly.

“Whatever other units or whatever other unions or associations bargain that is not really want I am looking at,” he said. “What I am looking at is fair compensation and as a taxpayer, as somebody who lives in this city and as somebody who represents police officers I would say that this is a fair deal.”

McCormack said that he expects a ratification vote on the proposed contract to be completed over the course of this week.

The deal comes in the wake of the Toronto Police Service receiving an increase in funding of $30.3 million, which pushed its budget north of the $1 billion mark.

Speaking with CP24 about the proposed contract on Thursday, Mayor John Tory said that he believes it is fair even if it contains a wage increase that exceeds the rate of inflation.

“The raise that is provided for averages at 2.2 per cent over the five years per year which is not far out of line if at all with inflation,” Tory said. “I think it is one of those things that is hopefully fair to people paying their bills, mainly taxpayers, but also fair to the men and women of the police service who have a difficult job to do and do it very well for us.”

In January the rate of inflation nationwide was 1.4 per cent, according to the Bank of Canada. That was down from two per cent in December.

The Toronto Police Service’s budget is the single biggest line item on the city’s budget. About 87 per cent of its budget goes towards salaries and benefits.