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Harlingen ordinance maintains pay for police officers

Harlingen city commissioners passed a new ordinance on Tuesday that will allow city officers to get paid even after their contracts expire.

Harlingen city commissioners passed a new ordinance on Tuesday that will allow police officers to get paid even after their contracts expire.

Commissioners went into executive session before reaching a decision on the new ordinance.

"That implemented certain statutory pay provisions for the police officers and those requirements come from state civil service law,” said Harlingen assistant city attorney Alan Ozuna.

The pay provisions will be the same as listed in the current contract set to expire on Sept. 30, which means there won't be any increases or decreases in pay for police officers.

But, the ordinance will not cover holiday pay.

"In the absence of the collective bargaining agreement, the city is not free to impose its own civil service standards,” said Ozuna. “So, we adopted the same holiday pay provision that's generally applicable in the city as a whole."

The passing of the ordinance comes after the city and the Harlingen Police and Law Enforcement Association failed to reach an agreement over retirement benefits, as CBS 4 News previously reported.

Ozuna says bargaining is essentially over for any fiscal aspects in fiscal year 2018.

Next year, police officers will come back to the drawing board with the city in hopes of negotiating retirement benefits.

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