Police Sgt. says Raleigh's new pay structure unfair to him

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Sgt. Jeff Malzahn says the city's policy is unfair.

The Raleigh Civil Service Commission voted in favor of the city of Raleigh to dismiss the grievance of a Raleigh police officer who said the new pay structure is unfair to him, said Brian Lewis, of the Raleigh Police Protective Association.

The officer who filed the grievance, Sgt. Jeff Malzahn, said he was working in Michigan when the Raleigh Police Department hired him, giving him a letter he would be compensated for his 12 years of equivalent service. But he said the city's new pay structure unfairly changed things for him.

"By not counting my 12 years of equivalent service, the city has sentenced me to a career making significantly less than my peers of comparable rank and experience," Sgt. Malzahn said. "This is true no matter how hard I work or how many promotions I get. That is neither fair, nor equitable."

Alice Tejada, the attorney representing Raleigh Police, said of Sgt. Malzahn's case during the hearing:

"When the facts of his situation were applied to the policy and he received what he was entitled to under the city plan, which is the city policy, and under that regard, there has been no violation of city policy."

Lewis said dismissing the motion could negatively impact other employees who want to file grievances against the city.

"It does discourage employees and it hurts morale," he said.

But Lewis said they're not stopping here. He said supportive police officers and firefighters want to take this to the Raleigh City Council.

Sgt. Malzahn said he didn't only file the grievance for himself.

"I've been a police officer for 20 years and during that time I've fought relentlessly for what is right," he said during the hearing. "Today is the first time in my career that I've taken the opportunity to stand up for myself. I'm here today not only for myself but for my brothers and sisters at the police and the fire department."

The City of Raleigh had no comment.
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