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Santa Barbara, Police Officers Union Reach Labor Agreement

The city releases specifics of the contract, which will yield savings for fiscal years 2011 and 2012

The City of Santa Barbara and the Police Officers Association reached a contract agreement this week.

The agreement will provide more than $945,000 in labor cost savings for fiscal year 2011 and $780,000 in fiscal year 2012 — or the equivalent to 5 percent and 4 percent salary reductions each years, respectively — that can be attributed to the city’s General Fund. The agreement will not significantly increase costs fiscal year 2013.

Union members voted to ratify the agreement Wednesday.

“I’m glad that we aren’t going to have to continue the fight right now,” union President Sgt. Mike McGrew said. “This is probably the healthiest solution for everyone at this point.”

The city and the POA agreed to reopen the agreement and resume labor negotiations in fiscal year 2013 in the event of a fiscal emergency.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement,” city employee relations manager Kristy Schmidt said in a news release. “We wish it could have been accomplished in a more constructive, solution-oriented manner from the beginning, but it will help the city balance its budget and reduce service impacts to the community.”

Both sides had been in negotiations since January.

According to a news release the city sent out Thursday, the agreement covers 137 police officers (sworn) and 47 nonsworn employees (dispatchers, parking enforcement officers and other civilian staff) at the Police Department.

The city said the specifics of the agreement are as follows:

Sworn Personnel

» Contributing 3.5 percent toward their PERS retirement benefits through June 2011, 3 percent until September 2011 and 2.67 percent through June 2013.

» Implementing 12 hours of furlough or leave without pay per year in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

» Forgoing specified uniform allowance payments in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

» Suspension of vacation and holiday cash-outs for fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013.

» Salary increases in phases beginning in October 2011, amounting to 4.5 percent over three years.

» Increases to the monthly family medical benefit of $50 in 2011, an additional $50 in 2012 and an additional $75 in 2013

Nonsworn Personnel

» Relinquishing 36 hours of paid holiday time in fiscal year 2011 and 12 hours in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

» Implementing 12 hours of furlough or leave without pay per year in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

» Forgoing specified uniform allowance payments in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

» 2.5 percent salary increase in phases beginning in July 2012.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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