The tentative contract extension announced Friday by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the municipal police union represents a win almost all around. It ought to be ratified by the City Council and the union membership; there is, in fact, almost zero possibility it will be rejected.
The mayor said the deal will cost the city $92 million over five years, with new costs of $62 million. But because of the way the deal is structured, the increases will not violate the five-year freeze approved by voters in 2012 on pay hikes that increase employee pensions.
Once ratified, police officers will find more take-home money in their paychecks. The department will see fewer veteran officers leaving for the Sheriff’s Department and other higher-paying agencies and will find it easier to recruit new young officers. The public will see more police on the streets. Taxpayers will also benefit. And the mayor and council members who support the deal will no doubt score points with the politically powerful police union. Four council members joined the mayor in support at Friday’s announcement. More no doubt would have been there if it would not have violated the state’s open-meeting law.
The deal will likely create one new headache for the mayor and council — requests already received from the other city employee unions for similar treatment.
The mayor’s office says it won’t deal with those requests until the police deal is ratified. But given that retaining good workers is really only a problem with police, there’s an easy and responsible answer to that: Just say no.