Pleasanton council gives initial support to new police raises

Contract also includes increased pension, medical contributions by union members

The Pleasanton City Council spoke highly Tuesday about a proposed new labor agreement with the police union, a deal highlighted by wage increases for city police officers and sergeants in each of the next three years.

The tentative agreement with the Pleasanton Police Officers Association (PPOA), which would end nearly nine months of negotiations, also includes higher pension and medical contributions from certain police officers, among other provisions.

“When all is said and done, and we have this win-win, it’s wonderful. We appreciate the efforts on all sides,” Vice Mayor Jerry Pentin said from the council dais in the Pleasanton Civic Center.

The council typically reviews major labor deals in a two-step process, which for the PPOA contract began with an initial discussion Tuesday night in the council chamber. The agreement is scheduled to return for final approval Oct. 17.

The union, which represents all 60 sworn police officers and 13 police sergeants in the Pleasanton Police Department, already ratified the agreement. Members voted 51-1 in favor of approval, according to Officer Ken McNeill, PPOA’s president.

McNeill said this year’s negotiations with the city’s bargaining team weren’t easy, calling them “arduous, and often frustrating.”

“The positive is, that despite the challenging journey, today we have come to a fair and reasonable and well-received tentative agreement that recognizes not only the value of our officers but the city’s fiscal responsibility to our Pleasanton residents and businesses,” he told the council.

City and union negotiators began their talks in January, with the PPOA contract set to expire at the end of May. With no deal reached by that deadline, PPOA members have been working without a contract since June 1.

The two sides recently came to terms on a tentative agreement to end the lengthy negotiations, according to Debra Gill, the city’s director of human resources and labor relations.

Gill said the proposal meets city officials’ main goals for the negotiations: “providing a reasonable cost-of-living adjustment to employees, increasing employees’ contributions to PERS pensions and increasing employees’ contribution to medical premiums.”

The new memorandum of understanding (MOU), which would run through May 31, 2020, would see PPOA members receive a 3.5% raise effective upon MOU adoption and then 3% raises in June 2018 and June 2019.

The police officers' previous contract saw them receive three separate 3% raises between January 2015 and June 2016, Gill said.

The new deal also includes a one-time stipend of $2,000 per police officer and sergeant in recognition of each of them completing crisis intervention training.

As for pensions, all PPOA members already in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) program, referred to as "classic members," will see their employee contribution increase 1.5% to 12% overall effective June 2, 2018. New members' contributions will remain at 11.5%.

The contract would also double the minimum employee contribution toward medical premiums for officers with family coverage to $50 per month effective January 2019.

Other highlights of the deal include that PPOA members, who typically receive 80 hours of paid time off each year but were scheduled to receive only 60 hours for 2017, would be given the full 80 hours retroactive for this year.

The contract would also stipulate a minimum call back time of four hours for special events, mandatory meetings and assigned work outside shift, and it would eliminate longevity requirements for education and Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) pay incentives.

And a joint committee of PPOA and police management would be created to discuss diversity, personal appearance, grooming standards and incentivizing special assignments, with the recommendations from this group — non-binding — to be presented to negotiating teams during the next round of bargaining talks.

In all, the new police union MOU is estimated to cost $1.9 million through fiscal year 2019-20, of which $432,000 will be incurred this year and covered through the general fund contingency account, Gill said.

The four council members, with Councilwoman Kathy Narum absent, each gave initial endorsements of the proposed MOU and offered their support for Pleasanton’s police officers.

“Many people believe this is a great town. And I share that belief, and one of the reasons is our police department. So I’m really happy this came together the way it did,” Councilman Arne Olson said. “Keep up the good work.”


13 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

Would like the real truth, how about how much these people make, why they can retire at 50 off the taxpayer while the rest of us get our Social security at 63? Why is it they can get 8 weeks paid vacation a year. Why is the amount going into there retirement to the sum of 50 grand annually not taxed or mentioned. Why not reveal how much pension they will receive annually, why not reveal it would take millions in the bank to receive one of these lavish pensions. Why no reveal that traffic tickets prices will reflect these increase for pensions. Why not reveal it's ok to retire rich off the taxpayer. Why not reveal that on top of the $150,000 pension they get free healthcare while retired? etc. etc. etc.

4 people like this
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 5, 2017 at 6:37 am

They deserve every penny! To have a great city with excellent schools you must pay for it. Too many uniformed critics say the police cost too much...until the guns begin to shoot! Or save lives ala LasVegas! Thank you first responders, keep up the good work!

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

@Truth: “Why is it they can get 8 weeks paid vacation a year.”

Where did you get that? The article clearly states that they get “80 hours of paid time off each year”. That’s just two weeks. Not sure about your other claims, either. Maybe your name handle should be changed to “Untruth”?

1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 5, 2017 at 9:47 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here's what I could find for the Pleasanton Police Officers' Association contract (seems it has expired, but provides information): Web Link

4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

BobB is a registered user.

End the pensions. They are unsustainable. Switch new hires to 401k plans and IRAs like the rest of us.

1 person likes this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm


Not all "the rest of us". Some employers still offer pensions. Ask me how I know. :-)

1 person likes this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm


Thanks for the info. It looks like the vacation time starts out at 2 weeks per year for new hires and increases with the number of years of service until it reaches a max of 5 weeks per year after about 20 years of service. Doesn't look unreasonable to me.

2 people like this
Posted by Would love a pension
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Would love a pension is a registered user.

SOME employers still offer pension, but most do not. The ones that do are the exception, not the rule. In former times most employers offered a pension, and many were fully paid by the employer, because I had one at a job in another state a long time ago. Now it's 401k's, etc. Ask big city governments how sustainable they believe these huge pensions are. They are being phased out asap.

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm

@"Would love..."

Pensions aren't inherently unsustainable by nature. It all depends on the plan.

8 people like this
Posted by no name chosen
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 6, 2017 at 9:51 am

no name chosen is a registered user.

Lots of speculation, some rational comments.

The 3% at 50 rule allows them to retire at age 50 (with 30 yrs of service) and collect 90% of their final wages the first year. That goes up every year with the COLAs and after just a few years they are making more than when they were working. Why would anyone work past 50 under those terms? Health insurance is generally free for life. If the public safety worker claims a job related disability their pensions are tax free for life. From the first day on the job fellow workers show how to document "work related" issues for that final tax free bonus. (NOT speculation, I was there and that's how it is done).

If a retiree moves to another state no CA tax is collected on those pensions even though the pensions are paid from CA taxpayer funds. They get a mailbox in Reno pretty fast and claim that it is their tax home.

Until recently, no Pleasanton public safety employees paid a single dollar into their pension fund. At that rate these pensions are absolutely not sustainable. The employee needs to be making the full contribution (it is pre tax money to them) or the system needs to become more of a 401(k). Taxpayers cannot be on the hook for pensions that exceed final year wages for life. If a retiree takes another job the pension needs to be reduced dollar for dollar for earnings. This is not THEIR money they are getting it is OUR money and we need to take some control over it.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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