The city of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Police Officers' Association have accepted a new three-year contract, retroactive to last January, that offers 3% pay increases each year through May 31, 2017, when the agreement will expire.
The proposed settlement was reviewed Tuesday night by Debra Gill, the city's newly-promoted director of Human Resources/Labor Relations, before a four-member City Council (with Mayor Jerry Thorne out of town) and in a mostly empty chamber in the Civic Center. The council is expected to ratify the agreement at a special meeting next Tuesday.
Gill said that because of the recession and across-the-board belt tightening in City Hall, unionized police officers had no cost-of-living wage increases during the three-year contract in effect from 2011 to 2014.
The proposed contract will cost of the city approximately $1.85 million through fiscal 2016/17, with $260,000 in retroactive pay increases having an impact on the current fiscal year municipal budget.
The contract includes modifications to police benefits. The passage of the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act by the state in 2013 resulted in significant changes to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
That means that police union members new to the program are now required to contribute 11.5% of their salaries towards retirement. Police officers already in the CalPERS system prior to the 2013 changes, called "Classic Members," do not have this requirement and instead their contributions are fixed at 9%
Even so, the proposed new contract calls for a 1% increase for Classic Members in June and another .05% increase in June 2016 for a total contribution for these officers of 10.5% by the end of the new contract. New members' contributions will remain at 11.5%.
The new contract also reduces retirement benefits, now at 3% at age 50 using the single highest year retirement formula, to 3% at age 55 and averaging retirement benefits over the highest paid three years.
In addition, the state law in effect since 2013 lowers those benefits for those hired after its passage to 2.7% at age 57.
The new contract affects all of Pleasanton's 73 sworn law enforcement personnel, comprised of 13 police sergeants and 60 police officers'
The contract is similar to a $2.45 million, 3-1/2-year agreement reached in February with unionized firefighters in the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, with costs shared by the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore which operate the department under a joint powers agreement.