Thursday, April 30, 2009

Norman, OK - Dragnet 2009 Comes To POLICEPAY Land - Don't Blame Barry

Memo To OU Football Players: Pay Your Traffic Tickets - Crimson And Cream Machine:

"Not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and driving without insurance are all minor traffic violations but they are none the less traffic violations and as the Oklahoma football team is learning, the hard way, should be dealt with in a timely manner. For the third time in three weeks a warrant was issued for an Oklahoma football player for failing to take care of a minor traffic violation.

First it was Jermaine Gresham getting a citation by one of Norman’s finest for not wearing a seatbelt, then a crack squad of the department’s super heroes earned accommodations for stopping Donald Stephenson’s excessive speeding spree, all before Inspector Gadget’s undercover investigation revealed that linebacker Keenan Clayton had been driving around without his insurance verification in the car."

Tulsa, OK - City is considering furloughs


"Mayor Kathy Taylor notified city employees on Wednesday that four days of mandatory, unpaid furloughs are being 'seriously discussed' to offset decreased revenues expected for next fiscal year.

'Because such a large part of our budget is salaries, it has been clear that salaries have to be a part of the issue to meet this temporary downturn,' she said in an e-mail distributed to city employees.

Taylor is set to present her proposed budget to the City Council at its 6 p.m. Thursday meeting at City Hall.

The furloughs would equate to a 1.54 percent pay cut for each employee, saving the city about $2.5 million in its general fund.

City officials have said they are looking for ways to make up a $13 million gap expected because of lower sales tax revenue and increased expenses."

Prince George County, MD - Unions continue to fight furloughs


"Union officials say the forced unpaid leave was done to punish the groups after they refused to waive raises under their new contracts. They said the county could have saved money by making other cuts, using reserve funds or reducing employee compensation in the next budget year.

'They made it an either-or alternative: the furloughs or the COLAs,' FOP president Vince Canales said, referring to the cost-of-living raises. 'They made it impossible for us to discuss other alternatives. And in the end, [the furloughs] became a punitive action on their part.'

No hearing has been set in the case. County officials declined to comment last week, referring to Kumar's papers.

E-mail Daniel Valentine at"

Toledo, OH - Mayor Finkbeiner responds to union president's comments


A day after confusion on whether or not the City of Toledo had a deal with the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association to prevent layoffs to begin Friday, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner fired back.

On Wednesday, NBC24 talked with Dan Wagner, President of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and one city councilman, both confirmed news of a tentative settlement."

Long Beach, CA - City workers may have to take unpaid week off


"Steve James, president of the Long Beach Police Officers Association, said he was surprised to learn that furloughs are on the council meeting agenda for next week.
'I did not believe that they were going to do that,' said Steve James, police association president. 'We're in (contract) negotiations right now, and we're trying to come up with ways to work things out at the table.'

He said the police union has a cost-saving plan for the next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 - when the budget deficit is expected to be even greater - but has nothing to offer for the current year. "

Toledo, OH - Mayor scuttles tentative contract with Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association


"Dan Wagner, president of the patrolmen’s union, said he was surprised to receive a phone call last night from Police Chief Mike Navarre informing him there was no deal, although he and Mr. Rein­bolt had reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” sealed with a handshake less than 24 hours earlier.

“After what transpired today, we know they are not men of their words and there is no point in bargaining with those men,” Mr. Wagner said.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GDP Decline Continues

By Ron
The Commerce Department has just released the GDP numbers for the first quarter of 2009. Based our calculations, the Gross Domestic Product Per Capita decline by 3.55% on a year-to-year basis. The number that you will read about in the newspaper and hear on television (-6.1%) is the total GDP compared with the previous quarter and then extrapolated into an annual amount. The number I am showing is the first quarter of 2009 as compared to the first quarter of 2008. I have also adjusted the number to remove population. I will posting more later.

North Las Vegas, NV - Police union agrees to forgo cost of living increase


"The city of North Las Vegas and the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association have reached a tentative agreement that could put millions of dollars into the city’s coffers.
The Police Officers Association has agreed to forgo a 4 percent cost of living increase and defer the increase to future years when economic conditions improve. They also agreed to defer their clothing allowance for six months and to defer holiday and sick leave sell-back for the upcoming fiscal year."

Toledo, OH - TRO against city might come Friday


"DOWNTOWN TOLEDO - A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge said he will decide by Friday afternoon if he will halt the layoffs of 20 Toledo Police command officers.
Judge Frederick McDonald heard arguments Tuesday afternoon for and against the request for the judge to issue a temporary restraining order and block the layoffs of the command officers. Last week the Toledo Police Command Officers’ Association filed a lawsuit against the city claiming the layoffs were against its contract."

Lubbock police not 4th best paid in Texas, their study says - KCBD, NewsChannel 11 Lubbock |


"LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The City Manager's office indicates that Lubbock police are the 6th best paid in Texas. If you factor in the cost of living, Lubbock is 5th best. If you add the value of getting to drive their squad cars off duty, Lubbock is the 4th Best Police Force in Texas."

Stockton, CA - Police talks end with no deal


"STOCKTON - Stockton and its police officers have ended labor talks without a deal, both sides said Tuesday, defeating a budget proposal that hinged on the administration's expectation of concessions from police and suggesting dozens more officers than planned could be laid off.
The negotiations' failure came less than a month after City Manager Gordon Palmer recommended unprecedented cuts citywide - including the layoffs of 43 of the city's 400 police officers - to close Stockton's $31million budget deficit"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lubbock, TX - Police push pay boost to keep officers


"Lubbock will hunt better balance in May between crime-ridden streets and protection it may ill afford.
Police received a warm but fruitless welcome at city hall Monday as they continued their push for significant pay increases.
Officers filled city council's early morning public comment period with requests for a 15 percent pay increase they believe will help Lubbock keep enough officers to protect the city."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oakland, CA - Budget ax to fall hard leaders warn


"Oakland city leaders say no one will be spared the pain as they try to balance an $83 million deficit in the coming fiscal year. Hundreds of city workers will lose their jobs, city offices will shutter, and park maintenance and social services face further cuts.
More Bay Area News

Mayor Ron Dellums, who has been lobbying in Washington for federal stimulus and grant money to help offset the city's financial losses, will release his budget balancing recommendations next Monday."

Friday, April 24, 2009

New York, NY - Bankrupt municipality may void union contracts


New York Public Personnel Law: Bankrupt municipality may void union contracts: "In a case of first impression, a municipality in bankruptcy may reject its collective bargaining agreements with the firefighters and electrical workers unions, a federal bankruptcy court ruled, concluding Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code permits a municipality to reject bargaining agreements with its public employee unions."

New York, NY - Vallejo Has Opened The Bankruptcy Flood Gates (Thanks A Lot Guys)

United States, Government & Public Sector, Less Stringent Standard Applies To Rejection Of Collective Bargaining Agreements By Municipalities In Bankruptcy - Jones Day - 24/04/2009, Government


The devastating consequences of an enduring global recession for businesses and individuals alike have been writ large in headlines worldwide, as governments around the globe scramble to implement assistance programs designed to jumpstart stalled economies. Less visible amid the carnage wrought among the financial institutions, automakers, airlines, retailers, newspapers, homebuilders, homeowners, and suddenly laid-off workers is the plight of the nation's cities, towns, and other municipalities. A shrinking tax base caused by plummeting real estate values and a high incidence of mortgage foreclosures, questionable investments in derivatives and escalating costs, including the higher cost of borrowing due to the meltdown of the bond mortgage industry, and the demise of the market for auction-rate securities have combined to create a maelstrom of woes for U.S. municipalities.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Toledo, OH - Union for Toledo police command officers sues to stop layoffs


"The Toledo Police Command Officers’ Association is hoping to stop the city from laying off nearly two dozen command officers by requesting a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order"

San Diego, CA - The 6-percent solution


"When words like “embarrassing” and “insulting” and “bittersweet” get thrown around, you know it doesn’t bode well.
Last week, San Diego’s municipal labor unions pretty much took it in the shorts, metaphorically speaking. Bad economy, they were told. Tough luck, old boy. But you have a choice: Take an across-the-board 6-percent pay cut. (Didn’t say it was a good choice.)

But what also seemed apparent is labor and its supporters on the City Council aren’t about to give up this fight. Mark Spin Cycle’s words—the revenue side of the city ledger is about to get poked and prodded like a colonoscopy patient with excellent healthcare coverage.

The irony is, Mayor Jerry Sanders most likely triggered what will likely be a council backlash after last week’s unanimous vote to impose contracts on the police and blue-collar unions. He did it, simply, by using economic hypocrisy—and it did not sit well with some council members."

Los Angeles, CA - Mayor set to confront city unions over cuts


"A day after releasing a budget that calls for shared sacrifice, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa launched a campaign to rally support for a menu of employee concessions that are already proving unappetizing to city unions.

While some unions are willing to consider salary cuts, the mayor's toughest opposition may come from the police union, which said Tuesday it would fight any reductions in salaries or benefits.

The mayor's plan calls for closing a $530 million budget deficit while sparing 2,800 city jobs.

'I don't want to lay off people, but I will,' Villaraigosa said in an interview with the Daily News editorial board.

'I don't want to furlough, but I will - unless we work this out together.'"

Flashback 2005 - NAPO Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana

The following is the text of an address by Ron York to the National Association of Police Organizations Convention on July 23, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Future For Public Safety Pensions In California

Since 1996, the most contentious area of contract negotiations for police officers has been escalating health insurance costs. Although, the inflation rate for medical insurance continues to be considerably more than the general rate of inflation, 2004 saw this trend starting to subside. When the numbers for 2005 are released in September, we may see this rate below 10% for the first time in five years. But, like in the movie Jaws, just when you though it was safe to go back into the water a new shark appears. That new shark is pension costs. For the last year, I have heard city and state officials making predictions of financial ruin, unless something is done to dramatically to reduce public employees’ pension plan costs, especially police fire pensions. I hear it everywhere, even from cities with over-funded pension plans. They simply use San Diego as a surrogate to portray their fears. And what to you think they attribute this problem to? Greed!! Greed of police officers and firefighters. Stories are repeated that tell of millionaire police retirees, while cities and states go bankrupt. Virtually every proposal presented to address this greed and financial ruin has two elements – reducing the rate of contribution by employers and setting a ceiling on employer contributions. This is usually coupled with a conversion from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans.

I am sure that everyone in this room knows the difference between defined benefit and defined contribution, but to be sure that there is no misunderstanding, let me give you the Cliff Notes explanation. A defined contribution plan is one where the benefits are explicitly guaranteed – a 75% pension based on your final year of income. Under this plan, the contributions a made based on the cost of providing the guarantee benefit. A defined contribution plan provides a fixed contribution – maybe 20% of annual earnings. When an employee retires, the benefits are determined by the amount of money that has been contributed and earned on the funds.

Pensions for public safety have been common for nearly a century. The original plans were what we call “pay-as-you-go”. No money is accumulated to pay for the pension. When an employee retired, the benefits were paid out of current tax revenues. Typically, it was a 50% pension after 20 years, with no vesting. If you left before completing 20 years you received nothing. The average retiree did not live as long as they do today. Even with these mitigating facts, the annual costs began to drastically increase. During the seventies, the federal government began to pressure employers to fund pensions as the benefits were earned. At that time, most governments closed entry into these plans and started a new plan that was currently fund. In addition, vesting of benefits was included in the plans. Suddenly, this caused a cash crunch for employers. Now not only were they required to pay for the “pay-as-you-go” plans, they were also having to prepay for the new plan. Eventually, this crisis was absorbed into the budget and all of the anxiety disappeared. Beginning in the nineties, the demands for the “pay-as-you-go” plan began to decline.

About this same time there was a push to increase the benefits to 75% after 30 years. This change was easily made. Although, the benefits increased by 50%, the fact that it was paid ten less years, the change was essentially cost neutral. For most departments this is where they are now, except for California and a few other departments. During the nineties, California was able to get their benefits increased to 90% after 30 years.

To fully understand what has occurred over the last year, we need to know key numbers. A 75% pension at 30 years requires that 20% of payroll be contributed each and every of the 30 years of employment. It can be paid by the employer, the employee, or combination of the two. For departments with many steps in their pay plans, such as Chicago, the contribution rate would be somewhat higher.

Much of the hysteria about pension plan costs is about California’s H.B. 400, which raised the 30 year pension from 75% to 90%. How did this change impact pension contributions? The ongoing contribution rate goes to 24%. This is rather simple to understand. The benefits were increased by 20%, therefore the contribution rate must be increased by 20%. Twenty percent of 20% is 4%. If the employer pays this additional 4%, it is the equivalent of a 3% increase in base pay. This is true because of the rollup costs associated with a base pay increase. Obviously, a 3% increase in pay will not bankrupt the employer. However, there is an additional cost – the new unfunded liability. A pension plan that was 100% funded would suddenly be only 83% funded, because of the grandfathering in of existing employees. To fund this liability over a 15 year amortization period will require an addition contribution of 6%. If the employer paid for the entire 10%, it would be the equivalent of an 8% base pay raise. While this would be sizable amount, it certainly would not be the financial ruin of any city. Keep in mind that it would be a one time incremental increase, not an escalating cost.

If we look at contribution rates in California, we will see that they have gone up much more than 10% of payroll. One California city is now required to contribute 48% of payroll. Obviously, something does not add up. There are three things that cause this gap. First, the investment strategy of pension managers became more aggressive during the nineties, which translated into higher risk. This increased risk resulted in large stock market losses. Second, the amortization period used for unfunded liabilities is unrealistically short in California. Last, but most important, was that cities contributed nothing for years that the fund was over funded. Remember, a typical 75% pension requires a 20% contribution every year. If there are years of zero contributions, there will need to be years with more than 20% contributions.

Look at Long Beach. Long Beach had an over-funded pension for many years. The city simply made no contributions during those years. Actually, it is even worse than that. The plan requires that the employees contribute 7%. Years ago, the union gave up a pay raise to get the city to pickup the employee contribution. Since the plan was over-fund, the city did not even contribute the 7%. If the pickup provision was not there, the employees would have been contributing the 7% every year. Now the city finds itself with a mandatory contribution rate of 24%. A ten percent increase might be substantial, but a 24% increase is down right painful. Let’s look at the circumstances that led to this. What do you think happened when the pension fund became over-funded? Did the city set aside the amount that they were contributing? No! The city immediately appropriated it for other areas. If they had continued to contribute at the normal rate, there would be no crisis today. First, there would be more money in the fund. Second, this annual money would not be committed to some other area.

So, what did city officials do? They immediately called Sacramento, screaming “fire”. And as luck would have it, Sacramento had just the man to put out the fire – the Terminator, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold may speak with broken English, but is no political dummy. He realizes that the secret to political longevity is to please the mostest and to alienate the leastest. Translated, this means your mayor wins and you lose. The Governor rolled out the three-prong approached that we discussed earlier – reduce benefits, cap contribution rates, and go to defined contribution plans. Police officers and firefighters mounted an aggressive campaign to “shout down” the governor. It worked. But, beware! He’ll be “baaack”. The approach used this year will not work next time. Arguments that tell anecdotal stories about widows and orphans being left high and dry will be debunked. This objection can be easily and relatively inexpensively removed with insurance. Arguing the self direct 401K plans are less efficient than large defined benefit plans will also be shot down. Even defined contribution plans can be managed and invested just like the defined benefit plans. Nothing requires that it be individual, self-direct funds.

In the long run, there is no difference between defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans, except for one thing – who bears the three internal risks. Under the defined benefit plan, the employer is the one bearing these three risks. The risk can result in either a loss or a gain. With the defined contribution plan, the employees bear the risk.

The fundamental factor contributing to the current crisis is the rules that dictate how pension plans are funded. It is that plain and simple. The problem is not Arnold Schwarzenegger. If Gray Davis had managed to avoid recall, it would have been him promoting the plan. Arnold didn’t give him a chance to be the bad guy. The worst mistake we can make is to personify the problem. No one individual is either the problem or the solution.

What does the future hold? The good news is that the stock market has rebounded and pension contribution rates will be going down. The question is whether the contribution rates decline before politicians are able to reduce benefits. Next year, we will most likely see Arnold II. To succeed this time we will have to do more than shouting louder than the politicians. We need a logical, but simple, response. If we can survive 2006’s attack, we will have dodged lightening, at least for this business cycle. But, this process will be repeated every seven to nine years in lock step with the stock market. What are our options? Obviously, we can do nothing and fight this fight every business cycle. I think this is a bad option. We could agree to go to a rational, defined contribution plan. The rise and fall of the stock market and the funding levels would not influence the annual contribution rates. It would be the same every year. There would never be a large increase or decrease in contribution rates. If I had to chose between the defined contribution plan or the status quo option, with its potential to be demagogued, I would chose the define contribution plan. I am probably the only person in the room with that opinion. The last and best option is get the funding rules changed. A requirement that employers must contribute a minimum amount every year, regardless of the funding progress of the plan would accomplish a lot. Allow plans to amortize unfunded amounts over a longer period. Change to a method of determining funding rates based on projected, long-term investment returns, not the current funding level.

Brand this into your mind: The current pension crisis is not the result of increased benefits The current pension crisis is not entirely the result of the stock market You are not the cause of the current pension crisis The real reason for the current pension is that cities have not been faithful in their contributions to the plan. If cities had been faithful, there would be no crisis today. My commission to you is to leave here today committed to: Forcing your employer to be faithful to their pension obligations And to never let your employer ever go a year without contributing to the pension plan The future of your pension plan is in your hands. Go out and demand that you receive what was promised to you.

Santa Barbara, CA - Clouds Gathering Over Police Chief

Note from Ron York - This is a very good and well written article. It is long, but it is interesting. It belongs in The New Yorker Magazine. This is a great piece of journalism. Take the time to read it in its entirety.

(Photograph by Paul Wellman)

Chief Cam Sanchez: “I’ve got nothing to complain about. Nothing at all.”


"It’s a little premature to declare that the proverbial perfect storm is brewing over the head of Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez, now entering his eighth year at the helm of the city police department. But the clouds definitely are gathering, and they show only few signs of blowing away."

Sacramento, CA - Unions, local officials square off over bankruptcy bill


"Firefighters are seeking new controls on when cities can declare bankruptcy in an effort to preserve existing union contracts with local governments facing hard financial times.

Proponents of AB 155 by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Los Angeles, argue that in light of a recent federal court ruling, cities and counties may turn to bankruptcy as an option to get out of union contracts. The bill, sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters, would force a city to get state approval before it can go into default.

Mendoza’s bill passed out of the Assembly Local Government committee Wednesday."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cranson, RI - Council rejects revised police contract


"CRANSTON — Ending more than a month of debate over a tentative police contract, the City Council last night voted 6 to 3 to reject a three-year deal, saying the drawbacks outweighed the $1.39 million that it would have saved.

Council members who opposed the deal said most of the savings came from leaving several positions unfilled. The also said they believed the new pact would erode the city’s management rights.

“It takes the power away from the chief,” said Councilman Anthony J. Lupino. “For that particular reason, I’m sorry, but I can’t support this.”"

Los Angeles, CA - Mayor Villaraigosa's Wants Cops to Take 10% Pay Cut (That's Not A Typo)


"'Massive layoffs and draconian service cuts are not inevitable, but everyone including our police and firefighters must work together in the spirit of shared responsibility and shared sacrifice,' said Villaraigosa, who will continue to make his case in a number of town hall meetings."

The mayor still is asking the police and fire departments to make a 10% cut in their salary accounts, but he has not specified how they should achieve those savings.

Eric Rose, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said Monday that because union leaders are currently negotiating for a new contract, they are "not in a position to talk about what they will or will not do in relation to shared sacrifice." The union initially characterized the mayor's proposal as a cut to public safety.

San Diego, CA - Mayor Jerry Sanders (And Former SD Police Chief) Takes Trophy Lap After Smacking Police


"'The City Council has been praised as courageous ... they deserve every bit of that praise,' Sanders said at a news conference at 11 a.m. at his office.

The mayor's forecasts, of course, are based on what happens with the two unions that had their contracts imposed upon them. Will they agree next year? Will the City Council vote again to impose another one-year contract?

Sanders said Monday that by freezing salaries or cutting them, the city would net $100 million long-term savings for the pension fund; that by reducing the interest rate on DROP (deferred retirement option program) accounts and annuities, San Diego will create a $310 million reduction to the city's unfunded liability; and that bu freezing benefits at $740 per month for retirees' health care, the city would reduce it's unfunded liability in that area by $350 million."

Pacific Grove CA Explores Bankruptcy Over Pension Issues


"Pacific Grove's Budget and Finance Advisory Committee is cautiously probing the implications of the city declaring a Chapter 9 bankruptcy as a solution to its budget woes and entitlement obligations.

The committee Thursday heard a brief report from City Attorney David Laredo, who left with a list of questions to be answered at its May 21 meeting, according to committee member and former Councilwoman Susan Nilmeier."

Monday, April 20, 2009

San Bernardino, CA - Mayor Names Keith Kilmer Police Chief


"After the council took its vote, Kilmer and police union president Rich Lawhead shook hands outside City Hall. The sight contrasted with the union's stance toward current Police Chief Michael Billdt, against whom the union has taken two no confidence votes.

'We are very excited. We are looking forward to a fresh start,' Lawhead said."

Los Angeles, CA - L.A. faces financial judgment day


"The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which is in negotiations for a new contract this year, has suggested a partial slowdown in the hiring.

'What we have suggested is rather than have classes of 57 officers, it be cut to 40,' PPL president Paul Weber said. 'That would keep us on track to hire the officers and save the city $21 million this year.'

Councilman Bernard Parks, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee and is considered a budget hawk, has said the programs will need to be in effect on July 1 to get their full impact.

'The longer we wait, the more cuts we will have to make later,' he said.

Villaraigosa has warned the city is facing the layoff of up to 2,800 of its more than 40,000 member work force and he has called on the unions to return to the bargaining table to discuss his proposals which include working for free one hour a week, forgoing automatic increases and a hike in contributions to the pension system.

Weber said the police union is willing to talk over all the different issues, except for the notion of furloughs.

'The mayor made clear to us he is not looking to furlough police officers,' Weber said. 'We need officers on the street and we were told that is one thing that will not be on the table.'

Weber said he has also offered to"

Los Angeles, CA - Villaraigosa budget proposal to include 10% salary cuts


"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to unveil a budget proposal today that calls on nearly every city agency to scale back salary costs by 10% as part of his effort to eliminate a $530-million budget shortfall, officials said Sunday.

The mayor is expected to seek reductions even at the police and fire departments, which traditionally have been shielded from cuts, while moving to merge three other city agencies and find private companies to run city parking garages."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Peoria, AZ - Reality Bites! City Council to act to halt police pay raise


"The Peoria City Council is expected to declare Tuesday that the city is in a fiscal crisis, in order to give council members the authority to deny police employees an annual raise.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the police union calls for a 5 percent salary increase for officers. But also written into the pact is a provision that in the event of a fiscal crisis, the council may re-evaluate the contract to look for cost savings."

Toledo, OH - Toledo Begins Notifying 75 Police Officers That They Are Being Terminated

Toledo Police Sgt. Ron Frederick is among the 75 officers who are waiting to see if they will be laid off.


The Finkbeiner administration Friday began notifying 75 Toledo police officers, 17 fire civilians, and 142 general-fund workers to expect to be laid off beginning May 1.

Remaining city workers in general-fund departments will be reduced to a 32-hour workweek, which is in effect a 20 percent pay cut.


San Diego County, CA - Crime rate hits 25-year low


REGION: San Diego County crime rate hits 25-year low : North County Times - Californian 04-15-2009: "The crime rate in San Diego County hit a 25-year low in 2008, with every North County city reporting a decrease in violent crime, according to a report released Tuesday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

Fallbrook reported the biggest drop in violent crime ---- a 39 percent decrease from 2007 to 2008, the report said.

Download the report by going to the article

The report, 'Twenty-Five Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1984 through 2008,' detailed crimes for all 18 cities and the unincorporated communities in the county."

Whittier, CA - Police agree to cut pay increase


"WHITTIER - Whittier police officers will be getting less of a raise in July than they had expected.

Instead of a scheduled 5-percent increase, the Whittier Police Officers Association agreed to a 3-percent hike in the final year of a three-year contract.

Police officers will receive another 3-percent pay raise, effective July 2010. That year had not been included the under the current contract.

The agreement approved by the City Council this week saves the city about $270,000.

It's one of many steps being taken to save about $2.2 million in order to balance the city's $54 million budget."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vallejo, CA - Divided council nixes employee layoffs

City Councilor, Stephanie Gomes


"A proposed plan to cut Vallejo's looming budget deficit with employee layoffs was narrowly defeated late Tuesday night in a split 3-4 vote.

Some City Council members took issue with sending out 60-day layoff notices to a spectrum of employees, many centered around administrative positions and in the community development department.

Mayor Osby Davis and Council-members Stephanie Gomes, Joanne Schivley and Michael Wilson opposed the plan. Vice Mayor Hermie Sunga and Councilmembers Erin Hannigan and Tom Bartee voted for it.

Gomes said the layoffs and the larger budget plan reflected past unsuccessful approaches to city spending."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

San Diego, CA - Council Imposes One Year Contract on SDPOA

Mayor Jerry Sanders addressing the San Diego City Council last night.


"A unified San Diego City Council last night imposed labor contracts on two city unions, after Mayor Jerry Sanders reached agreement with three others.

The council voted without discussion at 10:25 p.m., after an emotional day of testimony from employees who asked them not to inflict the city's budget pain on worker families.

The series of 8-0 votes was unexpected, as the council has a 6-2 Democratic majority, elected last fall with the help of employee unions."

Youngstown, OH - Deal could reduce city layoffs


"YOUNGSTOWN — City workers expecting layoff notices today instead received a reprieve of about two weeks as the administration works on an early retirement buyout deal with the union that represents its ranking police officers.

“We’ve had some progress that may positively impact our numbers,” said Mayor Jay Williams. “We hope these discussions will allow us to reduce the layoff numbers. We’re having conversations with the brass and we’ll make an offer to the patrol union.”"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

San Diego, CA - Mayor Sanders reaches deal with firefighters


“We are prepared to return to the negotiation table to try to resolve these differences,” said Brian Marvel, president of the Police Officers Association. “Is the city prepared to do that?”

Marvel accused the mayor of negotiating in bad faith and putting the public's safety in jeopardy by asking officers to take nine unpaid days off annually.

Council President Ben Hueso tried to keep order in the chambers despite the often divisive discussion over pay. He asked the audience to refrain from clapping and simply wave hands in the air to support a speaker's comments. He said he didn't want public speakers to be drowned out by the applause."

San Diego, CA - Battle Over Retiree Health Care Looms in Contract Talks

Voice of San Diego

"When the City Council debates new labor contracts Tuesday, a major flashpoint of contention will be a proposal to revamp retiree health care benefits in a way that could leave retired city employees shouldering a larger share of their health insurance.

'This is it. This is the year, and if we don�t deal with it this year, it's only going to get worse'
— Kevin Faulconer,
city councilman

The plan proposed by Mayor Jerry Sanders also would significantly shrink the city's future retiree health care obligations, which threaten to wreak havoc with city finances on the scale of the pension problem."

San Diego, Ca - Mayor's 2010 Budget Includes Pay Cuts, Fee Increases

News 8:: KFMB Stations, San Diego, California-Mayor's 2010 Budget Includes Pay Cuts, Fee Increases:

"Mayor Jerry Sanders today released his proposed $3 billion budget for San Diego for the coming fiscal year that preserves most municipal services but relies on sizable reductions in employee compensation and boosting a range of city fees.
Declining revenues amid the ongoing economic slump has left San Diego with a spending shortfall of $60 million, Sanders said.
Rather than laying off more city workers, Sanders recommended balancing the fiscal year 2010 budget largely by forcing the city's roughly 10,500 workers to accept a 6 percent across-the-board cut to pay and benefits."

Los Angeles, CA - Villaraigosa's tightrope: cut city spending without angering labor


Villaraigosa's tightrope: cut city spending without angering labor - Los Angeles Times: "As Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa prepares to give his State of the City speech today, he faces a challenge that could define the rest of his tenure -- how to close a half-billion-dollar gap in the city budget while preserving the support of public-sector unions that have played a major role in bankrolling his campaigns.

For Villaraigosa, a former union negotiator, the problem is more politically acute because he has eyes on the governor's office. The steps he may need to take to govern the city risk angering the powerful public employee unions whose support he would need for the governor's race."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Toledo, OH - Police Slam Proposed Cuts


"Toledoans are afraid crime will skyrocket if police are laid off and police don’t want their pay cut, but Tuesday night Mayor Carty Finkbeiner told a packed City Council chambers that the city is spending $100,000 per day “more than we are bringing in.”"

Las Vegas, NV - Police union wields clout as it turns on one of its own in council race


When early voting results were posted shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Glenn Trowbridge was leading Stavros Anthony by 3 percentage points as they vied with four others for an open seat on the Las Vegas City Council. When the final tally was in, Trowbridge's lead increased to 8 percentage points.

Something happened between the time early voting closed Friday and Tuesday's election.

Since I live in Ward 4, I know exactly what happened.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Chicago, IL - Mayor blames police union for contract failure


"Mayor Daley on Friday engaged in a bit of revisionist history to explain away the event that triggered a massive demonstration by Chicago Police officers that turned ugly.

Chanting, 'Daley sucks,' thousands of officers vented their anger about the mayor's decision to withdraw his offer of a 16.1 percent pay raise over five years amid declining city revenue. When the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed the dramatic turn in negotiations, a mayoral confidant argued that Chicago taxpayers could no longer afford the offer."

Pittsburgh, PA - Man 'lying in wait' kills 3 police officers

By Chris Togneri, Michael Hasch & Jill King Greenwood

"A heavily armed man 'lying in wait' at his Stanton Heights home killed three police officers and wounded a fourth Saturday morning in the city's deadliest day ever for law enforcement, authorities said.

'It's a very sad and solemn day,' Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper said during a somber news conference. 'We mourn as if we are immediate family.'

Harper identified the dead patrolmen as Stephen J. Mayhle, 29, and Paul J. Sciullo III, 37, both officers for fewer than two years, and Eric G. Kelly, 41, a 14-year veteran who lived nearby."

Pittsburgh, PA - Three Police Officers Killed In Pittsburgh

FOX 12

"Police say three officers are killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Pittsburgh.A man opened fire on officers this morning also injuring at least two other officers.Two officers died at the scene. A third was taken to the hospital where he later died.The gunman, believed to be a 23 year-old ex-Marine, surrendered to police after lengthy negotiations.Witnesses at the scene say they heard hundreds of gunshots."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Tampa, FL - No raises for Tampa's unionized workers, mayor says


"TAMPA — As contract negotiations with city unions are set to begin, Mayor Pam Iorio says she will offer no raises in 2010.

Iorio met with the heads of the police, fire and general employees unions Thursday to lay the groundwork for future discussions.

'It was very cordial,' Iorio said. 'I think they all understand that the country, the city and the state, we're all facing a very deep recession. These are times like no other.'"

Vallejo, CA - Mediation likely to fail


"Getting Vallejo city and employee labor negotiators to forge a new contract will take more than a mediator, city bankruptcy attorneys contend in a recent court filing.

'The city believes that a mediator would add little to the negotiation process at this late stage - other than more cost and delay,' they wrote.

The filing notes that city and labor negotiators worked with a mediator extensively last year 'without coming close to an agreement.'"

Chicago, IL - Police officers protest at City Hall


"The International Olympic Committee might not get the message, but Mayor Daley surely will. His ears must be burning.

Chanting “Daley sucks,” thousands of Chicago Police officers marched around City Hall and rallied at the Daley Center Plaza Thursday to protest their two-year wait for a new contract and Daley’s decision to dismiss the union’s no-confidence vote in Police Supt. Jody Weis."

Alameda, ca - Firefighters, City Embroiled Over Ballot Measure


"Alameda Firefighters IAFF Local No. 689 hopes to gather enough signatures to put the 'Fire and Emergency Medical Services Minimum Protection' measure on the ballot. If the union is successful and the voters approve the measure, the city would have to amend its charter to establish 'minimum levels of apparatus and staffing deployment for the providing of fire protection and emergency services by the Alameda Fire Department in the city.'

In the meantime, the city has filed a lawsuit to block the measure from appearing on the ballot whether the firefighters obtain the required signatures or not."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

San Diego, CA - City takes police union to court over retirement program


"SAN DIEGO – The city is following through on a year-old plan to take its police union to court over a controversial retirement program.

The deferred retirement option program, or DROP, allows employees to collect their pensions while still employed and receiving a full salary.

The program is closed to new hires, but San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders wants to close it to existing employees who have not signed up. The Police Officers Association says it is a vested benefit.

The mayor first tried to sue the union a year ago, but then-City Attorney Michael Aguirre stood in the way, said Scott Chadwick, the city's lead negotiator and human resources director."

San Diego, CA - City sues police union over DROP


San Diego Source > News > City sues police union over DROP: "The San Diego mayor’s office announced Thursday afternoon that the city has filed a lawsuit against the Police Officers Association."

Vallejo, CA - Uncertainty lingers after ruling in Vallejo bankruptcy case

NOTICE: This is a repeat of a story last week. Some how it came back up in the current news queue.


"A federal judge made a groundbreaking ruling earlier this month that the labor contracts of the bankrupt City of Vallejo can be overturned, but he is pushing for a settlement that would avoid nullifying the contracts.

A lawyer for the city’s labor unions said this week that one of the sticking points in the ttalks is a city demand that new hires and retirees begin paying 25 percent of the cost of their health care."

San Diego, CA - An Icon in Law Enforcement To Retire - San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender


"Sheriff Bill Kolender, the gruff and widely respected career lawman who served San Diego County for 14 years, has decided to retire.

His decision comes in the middle of his fourth term, and throws the race to succeed him into disarray just as it takes shape.

The sheriff, who is 73 and has been in ill health over recent months, began telling friends and county officials of his decision Wednesday.

The Sheriff's Department issued a news release after The San Diego Union-Tribune confirmed independently that he is stepping down."

Detroit, MI - Unions shouldn't run workplace votes (Guest Editorial)

By Steven J. Fishman, Chair, Workplace Law Group, Bodman LLP, Detroit
The Detroit Daily News

"As labor counsel to a number of employers who already face severe challenges in today's economy, we commend Manny Lopez on his column that highlights some of the flaws in the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, or card check, that would eliminate secret ballot elections when workers decide whether to organize a workplace ('Labor law rewrite is a bad idea,' March 11).

The secret ballot is one of the bedrocks of our democracy. We use it in selecting all public officials. Workers should have the same guarantee of freedom from coercion or intimidation when deciding whether they want union representation."

Honolulu, HI - Police Union Wants New HPD Chief


"The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, or SHOPO, is calling on the Honolulu Police Commission not to renew Police Chief Boisse Correa’s contract once it expires in August.

SHOPO President Tenari Maafala said a second survey on Correa’s performance is even lower than one taken in December of 2005.

“It was worse than the '05 survey as far as the overall responses to the questions,” said Maafala, an HPD sergeant.

87 percent of officers who responded to the questionnaire said they wished a new police chief was in charge. In the 2005 survey, 78 percent of respondents desired a new chief."

Salinas, CA - Police Department Avoids Layoffs


"SALINAS, Calif. -- The Salinas Police Department agreed to budget concessions Wednesday, avoiding layoffs.

The Police Officer's Association had initially resisted salary cuts, but after the City Council voted Tuesday night to go ahead with a play that could have meant the layoffs of six officers the group changed course Wednesday.

That means Salinas police officers will give up a 5 percent raise that was due to them in April, as well as pay an addition 2.5 percent of their salaries into a station healthcare fund."

Montgomery County, MD - Firefighters Plan Appeal of Decision on Raises


"John Sparks, president of the Montgomery County Career Firefighters Association, plans to appeal a labor relations administrator's ruling last week in a dispute over cost-of-living raises for his members.

'If we don't, we're stuck with a decision we don't agree with,' Sparks said this week.

The labor relations official ruled Saturday that County Executive Isiah Leggett's decision not to fund pay raises for the budget year that begins July 1 was within his authority as executive."

Middletown, CT - Police union makes concessions


"Middletown (WTNH) - A number of cities and towns around the state are dealing with budget numbers. The news is not often good...but one city is working to crunch the numbers without cutting jobs. But it does come with a price.

In the mayor's budget, there will be a tax increase and there will be cuts to anything from fireworks to youth work programs. But jobs will be saved thanks to four unions forming a coalition - and the promise of no layoffs."

Stockston, CA - Something's got to give


"The full meaning of a $30 million-plus budget shortfall is about to be made brutally clear to Stockton residents.

The city will eliminate dozens of city jobs, including - unless there are more union concessions - more than four dozen police officers and more than five dozen firefighters.

What's more, city services will be slashed. Virtually all tree maintenance in our urban forest will end. There'll be no city fireworks on July Fourth. The McKinley Community Center will close. The city camp at Silver Lake will not operate. Libraries will cut hours and children's services. Pixie Woods will cut hours. Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium will close."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Modesto, CA - Police officers' union OKs furloughs


"The Modesto Police Officers Association has approved a proposal calling on its 203 members to take 32 hours in furlough time by July 1 to help the city close its $2 million budget gap.

Officers will not necessarily take the days off by that date. Their pay will be reduced to reflect the unpaid days over their next six pay periods, but they will have as long as two years to take off the time.

The furloughs are expected to save the city $293,000 from the police ranks. The police union faced 12 to 17 layoffs if it rejected the proposal, union President Tony Arguelles said."

Las Vegas, NV - Police union for civilians OKs lower wage increase


"The union that represents dispatchers, crime scene analysts and other civilians who work for the Metro Police Department has agreed to give back part of the cost-of-living increase the employees were due to get July 1.

The 1,600 civilian Metro employees were scheduled to receive a 3.75 percent cost-of-living increase in the fiscal year that begins July 1. They instead will receive a raise of 2.25 percent, said Terri Yada, president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association Civilian Employees Inc."

Toledo, OH - City council delays Mayor's plan to cut wages


"The Finkbeiner administration Tuesday night handed Toledo City Council the means to slash most city employees' salaries and pension contributions without going through contract negotiations - a key component of closing a $27.7 million budget deficit.

Council voted against immediate consideration of seven ordinances by a 6-3 vote. That would have put the legislation on council's agenda."

Global Slump Seen Deepening -


Global Slump Seen Deepening - "The outlook for the global economy worsened on the eve of a summit of the world's 20 biggest economic powers, as two international agencies warned that global output will fall in 2009 for the first time since World War II.

Fresh evidence of the deepening slowdown came from around the world. Euro-zone data Tuesday showed inflation at 0.6% in Europe's single-currency area for the year through March, the lowest level since official records began in 1996. In the U.S., home prices fell 19% in January compared with a year earlier. Japan's business-confidence fell to an all-time low in data released by its central bank early Wednesday, a day after the jobless rate there rose to a three-year high."

Carson City, NV - Police seek increase in state sales tax to fight crime


"The Las Vegas Valley’s top cops asked state lawmakers today to pass a quarter-cent sales tax increase to hire more police officers and continue the successful crime-fighting efforts enabled by the first half of the tax approved four years ago.

If passed, the county’s sales tax rate would be 8 percent."

Lubbock, TX - Police Association proposes pay increase


"LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Professional Police Association (LPPA) says their proposal to increase pay would not cut the number of officers the city currently has. In fact, they say it would leave room to add 28-more, but some Lubbock city leaders are against the plan."

Bay City, MI - Police chief answers to commissioners, firefighters regarding report on sick leave


"Bay City Police Chief Michael J. Cecchini faced a tough crowd Monday night as he gave a report on the findings of an investigation of the Bay City Fire Department.

Representatives of the firefighters union were on hand inside a third-floor room at City Hall as Cecchini told city commissioners why he believes there is a systemic abuse of sick leave within the fire department."

Bay City Police Chief Michael J. Cecchini, right, looks on as Kurt Wagner, president of the firefighter's union, responds to a report alleging abuse of sick leave by Bay City firefighters.

Orlando, FL - Cuts could put public at risk, union leaders warn


"If Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer goes ahead with deep across-the-board cuts in the city budget next year, residents who call 911 might wait longer for help to arrive, union officials warn. Fire engines won't come as quickly, they say. Neighborhood police patrols might go away.

Dyer hasn't said exactly how he'll deal with a projected $40 million budget gap, but he's exploring deep across-the-board cuts to every division. Because nearly half the city budget goes to the police and fire departments, that approach almost certainly would mean fewer cops and firefighters to respond to emergencies."