The Pleasanton City Council and city negotiators will be going over the Pleasanton Police Officers Association contract negotiations during a closed-session meeting on Wednesday.
The special meeting comes a week after the police union declared an impasse in labor talks, arguing that the city's offer of personnel raises between 15% to 18% over three years -- among other contract details -- is not enough to compete with neighboring police department salary and benefits.
"The deterioration of the Pleasanton Police Department has steadily developed over the course of several years and that is directly related to the city's unwillingness to competitively compensate its police officers," Brian Jewell, president of the PPOA, said in a follow-up press release last Friday.
"We are not asking to be the highest paid, or to reset the market," he added. "We are asking to be compensated at the median of our agreed upon benchmark agencies so that we can at least have a chance to recruit and retain highly qualified police officers. The city's proposals all but ensure that we will remain 7.5% behind the market median for the duration of the proposed contract."
"It appears that adding a third skate park and remodeling a Century House -- totaling $10.6 million -- are more important than hiring qualified police officers and providing service to the community," union officials stated, alluding to two capital projects supported by the council majority for the city's upcoming budget.
City staff stated in a press release last week that their previous offer was a "generous compensation package that represents one of the largest pay increases for police officers and sergeants in the city's history."
They also stated that the offer would have addressed the union's concerns while also being mindful of the city's uncertainty in its budget over the next few years.
The city's proposed three-year MOU would include a 6% raise for officers and a 9% raise for sergeants beginning on June 1, followed by a 9% increase total for each position over the course of the remaining two years of the contract. It would also triple the city's contribution to employee's retiree health savings accounts and provide an additional 5% premium pay for specific departmental assignments.
The closed-session meeting, which is set to start at 5 p.m. Wednesday (May 31) at city hall, is of particular significance as the city's current memorandum of understanding with the police association is set to expire that same day.
Apart from city negotiators being present, a member of the Industrial Employers Distributors Association, a business management consultant that focuses on labor relations representation for public and private sector employers, will also be present, according to the posted agenda.