NEW ORLEANS (AP) " A plan that would give New Orleans police officers pay raises between 5 percent and 19 percent depending on their ranks now awaits passage by the City Council.

The New Orleans Civil Service Commission unanimously approved the overhaul Tuesday, The Advocate reports. If the Council approves, the proposal would cost the city $9.2 million a year and go into effect at the start of next year.

The plan seeks to help the department retain mid-career officers and decrease the number of those leaving, police superintendent Michael Harrison said. It would give inexperienced officers around a 10 percent raise bringing them to nearly $47,000 a year. More experienced officers would be combined into a single category that pays nearly $52,000 with raises from 5 to 16 percent depending on rank.

It was crucial the plan was passed so the Council receives it with enough time to incorporate into the city's 2018 budget, which must be passed by Dec. 1, police superintendent deputy chief of staff Eric Melancon said.

Police Association of New Orleans, which represents some officers, is upset about the plan that also eliminates earlier proposals. While praising the pay raises overall, Police Association president Michael Glasser said it would mean that careers have peaked at the second rank for officers without college education or who do not want to become supervisors.

The plan was approved before the Commission received results from an outside firm conducting a study of police salaries that is expected in the coming weeks. The plan's circumstances are not 100 percent known without the information taxpayer money was spent to find out, Police Association attorney Eric Hessler said.

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Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com