The union representing Hawaii's police officers was awarded a 16.8 percent raise over four years starting on July 1 in binding arbitration.
The State of Hawaii Police Officers Union, or SHOPO, entered arbitration on Nov. 25.
SHOPO represents more than 2,800 police officers across four counties who have been working under a contract that expired on June 30, 2011.
In binding arbitration, SHOPO was given no raises between July 11, 2011 and June 30, 2013. But, starting on July 1, 2013, police officers will get raises every six months, which totals 16.8 percent over four years.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the wage increase set by the arbitration panel are far more than the city anticipated.
"My priority for this administration is to focus on providing improved core services, such as road repaving, sewer infrastructure, bus and rail transit, and better maintenance of our parks facilities. It is clear that the City administration and the Honolulu City Council will need to address revenue enhancements while looking for additional cost savings if we are going to meet our financial obligations," said Caldwell. "City expenses continue to rise, and, as leaders, we will need to find new ways to pay for these expenses while providing needed services to all of our residents."
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa issued the following statement:
"While we were surprised at the level of this award, we feel that the arbitration process needs to be respected. The arbitrator was given information by all participants and knew full well the circumstances of the counties and the state and we fully support his decision."
As of 5 p.m. Friday, KITV did not have a comment from Hawaii County or Kauai County.