Chico PD’s latest contract proposal is unsustainable

21 Nov

I wrote a letter to the News and Review, I want to keep the city employee contracts in the news. 

Again, Chico Police employees put more money into local campaigns than any other group. In addition to the CPOA, former police chief Mike Maloney formed his own PAC, allowing police employees to get around rules limiting contributions.  

The new council majority will negotiate with a police department asking for 5 percent raises as well as payment of various benefits currently paid by employees. The city already pays over 25 percent of their pensions while most police employees pay 9 percent. Salaries in the police department average over twice the local median income. 

Police employees continue to complain they are understaffed, ignoring practical suggestions to lower their salaries to reasonable amounts and pay a more rational share of their own pensions in order to loosen up money for new hires. 

Despite an obvious conflict of interest, the proposal still includes a provision that the city collect union dues from employees who do not wish to be union members, this money being poured into campaigns at election time. 

The city is currently suffering “liabilities” over $75 million, about $50 million of which are pensions. We’ll soon see how new councilors installed with CPD money will react to the cops’ demands.

Here’s the cops’ proposal – I cut and paste this verbatim from the city agenda, the typos are all theirs. I highlighted stuff in red to show, they’re not only refusing to reign in their salaries and benefits, they’re asking for more stuff!  And they want a three year term, so these contracts would stand for three years with very little chance of review. 

Chico POA
Proposal – September 24, 2014
The following is a proposal for a successor MOU to the one expiring 12/31114 between the
Chico Police Officers’ Association and the City of Chico. This proposal is intended to begin the
bargaining process and introduce several ideas that the POA believes can create a better
environment within the City of Chico Police Department, specifically the Departments ability to
retain and recruit police officers. When possible, the current MOU provision that would be affected is listed. Wording is NOT
final and will be edited to reflect any changes prior to submission to the City in formal
1. Three year term of MOU: 111115-12/31/17. 1.3A
2. Salary. 5% increase effective 1/1/15, 1/1116 and 1/1/17. 5.1 and Exhibit B
3. Longevity. Add four new longevity step increases of 4% at the following length of time
of employment with the city: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 25 years. New Article
5.12 “Longevity Pay”
4. Pay Step Addition and Adjustment. 5.1C

a. Add a Step H at 5% salary increase. 

b. Add a “training pay” step equivalent to $18 per hour.
5. Cash out Holiday Time Banlc Reinstate policy of allowing employees to cash out
unused holiday time bank hours each year. 6.2
6. Vacation Cash Out. Allow employees to accrue vacation above the maximum caps and
to cash out any unused vacation accrued above the caps at the end of each calendar
year. 6.5
7. Holiday Hours. City shall provide ten hours of Holiday Time Bank pay for holidays.
8. OT Pay for Holidays. City shall pay employees overtime rate for working holidays. 5.2
and 6.1
9. FICA and Dental to be paid by City. 6.3
a. City shall pay the 1.45% of FICA that has been paid by employees since 1/1111.
b. City shall pay the entire employee portion of the dental insurance (or allow the
employee to opt out of coverage). 6.3 and Exhibit C.
10. Call Back Pay. Increase the call back minimum pay to four (4) hours. (3 currently). 5.5
11. Shift Differential. 5.9
a. Increase swing and graveyard shift differential pay by 5%.
b. Shift differential to be calculated into base pay for overtime pay rate calculations.
12. Adopt and/or publicize the ability to put OT earnings directly into deferred
compensation. 6.6E

Please write letters to council and the papers, this contract is not sustainable. No matter what Mark Orme tells us, this city is up Shit Creek and nobody can find the paddle. 

The paddle we need right now would be a local Right To Work initiative.

10 Responses to “Chico PD’s latest contract proposal is unsustainable”

  1. Michael Jones November 21, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    Frank Fields told us that the Police and Fire departments and the allocated administrative overhead comes to 76% of the General Fund. The CPOA proposal would make that maybe 86% of the General Fund. I told the liberals they should get the public safety compensation under control, but instead they ran Molina and Arim-Law who said public unions are good and need full funding. Well, now we are relying on the winning conservatives to save the park, the urban forest, public art, etc. Stupid to follow Mulholland and Schwab advice and dump progressive programs off the cliff. Progressive of Chico unite and dump Mulholland and Schwab and Arim-Law and get somebody who will defend progressivism against the ravages of the public safety unions. Or not, whatever….

    • Juanita Sumner November 21, 2014 at 7:32 am #

      Thanks Michael, we’ll see how Sorensen, Morgan, Coolidge and Fillmer handle this mess.

  2. Michael Jones November 21, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    Sending fake mailers saying that you too were really adored by the CPOA was pathetic. What are you, wanna be conservatives? Or proud Progressives who relish an open and fair debate with your worthy competitors, the Conservatives. There are Conservatives plans that will work fine, there are Progressive plans that will work fine. We need both sides to present what they stand for, credibly

    • Juanita Sumner November 21, 2014 at 7:53 am #

      do you think there’s any chance the Conservatives will support Right to Work legislation?

      • Michael Jones November 21, 2014 at 8:45 am #

        I support it. I think Sorensen would, at least in his heart. I think Morgan would not if it is perceived to be an attack on the police union. Fillmer yes, probably, but she might not want to create waves at first; but make no mistake, she can be feisty once she gets comfortable in the Councilor chair. Andrew, yes in his heart, but he is cautious by nature. Answer: probably not

      • Juanita Sumner November 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

        well, it’s something I’ve been studying up on, and I’ll post whatever I find out. It’s a conversation that needs to be had – I guess I’ll plan a meeting in January, see if we can get somebody who knows something about this subject to come in and talk about how it would affect our contract talks.

        Think Reanette would be interested in explaining it to us? I mean, whether she’s for or against that type of legislation, maybe she could explain what it means.

  3. Publius November 22, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    I am confused; I keep hearing competing news articles.

    On one hand, when issues like annexing Chapmantown are brought forward, the city cries poor. Whether it is providing services, or dealing with a LAFCO lawsuit, the city can’t afford it. We didn’t even have enough money in the checking account to cover our bills and nearly had to

    Then in the next news article, I will read about how the city has turned the corner, and tax revenues are increasing at a good rate. Subsequently, another article will come out proposing a substantial pay increase for management (all of whom make 2-5 times the community medium income).

    Which is it – are we broke or do we have money to spend? I would love a news organization to find out what our true financial standing is. If revenues are increasing, has the city learned its lesson, and is it securing the proper reserves for the future? I have a hard time believing that, especially if management is getting a raise. It stands to reason that if the leaders get a raise, the cops will get something competitive, or be demoralized further. Then the firefighters contract will come up and we’ll hear, “but the cops got….”!

    The published budget lists a potential deficit of 31 million in a couple of years, mostly due to increases in the PERS reimbursement rates. Why aren’t we saving money to deal with it? What are the chances of the deficit coming to fruition? Why would we compound the problem by increasing the amount we have to contribute (pay increases for public employees)?

    • Juanita Sumner November 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Thanks for asking this question, Publius, more people need to ask these questions. I see exactly the same pattern you see, they say whatever it takes to get what they want.

      If you look at our debt/income ratio we have a problem. When I started looking at this issue, the city (taxpayers) and employees, combined. were paying less than 20 percent of the actual cost of the pensions. CalPERS had their grand plan to make the rest on the stock market. That did not work out. Now they are demanding the city increase payments, whether they get the money from the employees or the tax payers. Last I checked, the city was paying over 20 percent, the employees had just stepped up to 9 percent, and CalPERS eventually wants 50 percent. So, a new law says “new hires”, or employees who come in from outside a public retirement system (meaning never had any public job before, anywhere in the US) will pay 50 percent. But we don’t get “new hires,” we get people who carpet bag their way across the system, swinging like monkeys from public agency to public agency, taking a little bit higher salary and a little bit higher salary, never having to pay that other 41 percent for their ever-increasing pension. These employees are bound and determined that we taxpayers are going to foot it for them. And yeah, they demand salary increases year after year and call it a “cut” if we don’t give them the increase.

      The city has cash coming in, so I guess they can say they’re not broke, but their debts outweigh their income, by a long shot. A household would have to cut back, or end up losing everything and going into bankruptcy. The city just keeps searching for new revenues, and so far, they’ve managed to keep a steady stream of grants coming in, for stuff like Comanche Creek Park. They have people in that building who spend their days doing nothing but looking for money.

      But they can’t keep it up. I don’t know how they’ve carried it this far. For one thing, they have to match most of those grants with money they are moving from one fund to another faster than peas under walnut shells. It’s like taking cash off your credit card to make your credit card payments. They’ve launched a program to hook people up on sewer for free, so they can get more people paying $45 a month, just to shower and flush. Now they’re pilfering the sewer fund again tgo bolster up other funds – a couple of years ago Sorensen reported it was completely tapped from such fund transfers.

      The development fund has also been tapped, a fund that is filled with developer fees and therefore supposed to be available for developer services. It was $9 million in the red earlier this summer, having been sponged dry to fill the General Fund, out of which they can spend money on whatever they want. And, they keep “deferring” developer fees, letting developers hook up for free, and I’ll tell you what, they end up “forgiving” a lot of them in the long run. Developers get a lot of freebies, and we the taxpayers end up picking up the slack. There was just another fee deferral discussion on last Tuesday’s agenda, I don’t know how that went, but I’m guessing it was a shoo-in.

      I tell you Publius, I almost admire the slight of hand, I feel like a pie-eyed farmer, having fallen fresh off the turnip truck on a weekend trip to the city.

    • bob November 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      The published budget lists a potential deficit of 31 million in a couple of years, mostly due to increases in the PERS reimbursement rates. Why aren’t we saving money to deal with it? What are the chances of the deficit coming to fruition? Why would we compound the problem by increasing the amount we have to contribute (pay increases for public employees)?

      All good questions. And I don’t see or hear the local media asking any of them.

      Instead the trough feeders will demand tax increases including a sales tax increase just like what the Paradise and Redding trough feeders pulled. They will blame it on lack of funding from the state.

      We are expected to pay higher taxes so pulic sector employees can have salaries, benefits and pensions that those in the private sector can only dream of. Of course the local media won’t tell us that. Instead they will just say it is necessary “to maintain public services” and if that doesn’t work they will go to the “it’s for the children” card.

      • Juanita Sumner November 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

        Yeah – you and me are looking at the same crystal ball!

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