SAN BERNARDINO: City signs pact with police union

San Bernardino has reached a deal with the police union representing in a significant breakthrough for the two parties that had been at odds since the city filed for bankruptcy just over three years ago.

The five-year agreement was approved unanimously by the City Council Monday night, Aug. 3, after months of negotiation.

In a city news release, city and union officials hailed the agreement, saying it will allow San Bernardino to cut costs while ensuring that public safety concerns are met.

“Addressing crime is a top priority and an important step in doing that is first bringing stability to our current public safety workforce,” Mayor Carey Davis stated.

Steve Turner, president of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association, called the agreement “fair and reasonable,” given the city’s fiscal condition.

“It will help to bring stability to our agency, which has lost more than 33% of sworn and civilian staffing since the bankruptcy filing,” he stated in the release.

The contract provides for minimum 3.5 percent annual salary increases for police officers in exchange for increased cost-sharing of up to 12 percent for retirement plans for the last three years of the deal, the release stated.

City officials say the plan helps stabilize the department and allows the city to meet the needs of its bankruptcy exit plan filed with the bankruptcy court in May.

Both parties had been negotiating for more than a year with a court-appointed mediator. At one point last fall, both sides said they reached agreement but it fell apart after the union said the final deal did not match the terms it negotiated.

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