Merced approves pandemic bonus for cops, pay bump for city employees

Merced government employees are set to receive a pandemic-led boost in their pocketbook, courtesy of Federal stimulus funds.

The Merced City Council unanimously approved the bonuses during its Monday evening meeting, which will be funded by the Federal American Rescue Plan

Merced’s firefighters will receive premium pay of one percent each year through June 2024, retroactive to July of this year. 

The premium pay totals $70,926 for all members of the union, Merced Fire Fighters, Local 1479 of the International Fire Fighters Association. The fire fighters will also receive a $500 signing bonus. 

The city’s police officers will receive a one-time payment of three percent premium pay, which totals $41,463, along with a $500 signing bonus. 

Members of the Merced Association of City Employees (MACE) will be recipients of a one percent premium pay annually over the following three years, totaling $122,976. 

Along with the MACE agreement, City Council also approved supplemental funds for the downtown maintenance district ($539), wastewater systems ($5,731), water systems ($1,779) and facilities maintenance ($1,191) to cover unbudgeted costs for a $500 signing bonus as well. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, District Council 57, Local 2703 also struck a deal with the city council for one percent premium pay annually over the next three years. 

The council appropriated $49,638 to cover the premium pay costs. 

Just like the MACE agreement, the council made supplemental appropriations to the budget to cover the $500 signing bonus for members: $1,645 to development services and $964 to community services. 

The council also approved $38,400 in education pay, which will be distributed to members who have an associate’s degree ($100 per month) or a bachelor’s degree ($200 per month).

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at