Pleasanton city negotiators offered unionized police personnel raises between 15% to 18% over three years as part of its latest contract proposal days before the Pleasanton Police Officers Association declared an impasse in labor talks, city officials confirmed Thursday.
Responding a day after the union announced the impasse with a scathing public statement, city administration detailed terms of an offer they said would address officers' concerns about salary and benefits levels while also being respectful of Pleasanton's budget uncertainty anticipated in the immediate years ahead.
"Considering the current economic climate in which the city's expenditures are expected to continue outpacing revenues for the next several years, the city has offered a generous compensation package that represents one of the largest pay increases for police officers and sergeants in the city's history," city officials said in a statement Thursday evening.
"Despite the recent statement from the PPOA, the city remains committed to reaching an agreement that works financially within budget restraints, while demonstrating the city's commitment to the well-being of its police officers and sergeants," city officials added.
PPOA pressed the impasse button on Wednesday after several months of apparently tense negotiations behind the scenes without a deal. The association's current memorandum of understanding with the city is due to expire at the end of May.
A union press release argued that the city "has rejected every proposal to provide competitive compensation" for officers and sergeants, and that ongoing problems with retention and recruitment plaguing the Pleasanton Police Department has led to significant staffing shortages compounded by an "exodus of personnel to other law enforcement agencies".
"Despite the department's glaring needs, the city's proposals would ensure that its police officer compensation would remain below both the market average and median. This significant discrepancy puts Pleasanton at a disadvantage in recruiting and retaining the best law enforcement professionals, and all but ensuring further staffing shortages," PPOA said in its statement Wednesday.
City Manager Gerry Beaudin's office responded to the comments from PPOA leadership on Thursday evening by making public details about the offer they said their negotiations put forward on May 19 that the union ultimately rejected.
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.
City officials said they also agreed to PPOA's requests to triple the city's contribution to employee's retiree health savings accounts and to provide an additional 5% premium pay for specific departmental assignments.
According to the city, its offer would increase city operational costs by over $6.6 million over the contract term.
That's at a time when the city estimates having budget surpluses of just $4,112 and $4,740 for the next two fiscal years before dropping into a deficit of $1.3 million by fiscal year 2025-26 under normal economic conditions -- or a deficit of as much as $6.7 million in the third year if a recession hits in 2024.
The two sides were set to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday (May 24), but the union canceled the meeting and instead declared an impasse, according to the city. The move starts the clock on an impasse process whose details and schedule were not immediately clarified publicly.
This marks the second consecutive year the city reached formal impasse with a public safety employee union in labor negotiations.
Fire Fighters Local 1974 declared an impasse with Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department administration in March 2022 before the two sides came to an agreement three months later that included 13% in general wage increases over 3-1/2 years, a paramedic premium pay increase and a comprehensive drug- and alcohol-testing policy.