Miscalculations led to inaccurate paychecks for Sarasota officers

- The City of Sarasota made some miscalculations. 

It took almost a decade for Sarasota police to get a pay raise, and when they did last year, the city agreed to make it retroactive. Unfortunately, a mistake in the math has officers asking when they'll get what they're supposed to be paid.

But it has already had an impact according to Sarasota police officers who say their paychecks haven't added up.

"The officers are extremely disappointed and frustrated," said union president Mick McHale.

McHale said the contract approved in November gave officers their first pay raise in nearly a decade. It was also supposed to be retroactive to 2014. But when the checks arrived, officers noticed mistakes.

More than 140 were underpaid, anywhere from $16 to $5,000, and 22 officers were overpaid, from $9 up to $9,000.

It left Sarasota HR Director Stacie Mason to explain how it happened.

"Over 20,000 or more different calculations to do this over a number of years is a really difficult calculation," she said.

And the city had to make those calculations for more than 160 officers. It was a tedious task, that when combined with an error in the formula and variables such as overtime pay, led to the miscalculations.

"We knew it was going to be complicated and we missed a few issues. We are regretful of that. We corrected that. We will make it whole," said Mason.

For those underpaid, it will mean a fatter check sometime soon. For those overpaid it won't be as nice.

"We will work with the employees that might need to pay any wages back," said Mason.

Yes, they will have to pay it back. Although the city said it won't ask for it in a lump sum.

"We regret anything that may occur," said Stacie Mason. "We will work with them so it's not an impact on them."

The PBA and the city plan to discuss what happened, and where they go from here. This time, the union wants to be part of the equation.

"We have requested, through communication, to sit down with the city and go over each and every officer's compensation to ensure they have been properly compensated for a benefit that they have richly earned," said McHale. 

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