Barstow talks with police union stalled?

BARSTOW — The president of the Barstow Police Officer’s Association is accusing the city of Barstow of not bargaining in good faith.

“There has been no movement. Talks have completely stalled,” William Spiller said Monday. Spiller is the president of the Barstow Police Officer’s Association.

The last memorandum of understanding between the officers and the city that was signed in 2012 expired on June 30. Contracts also have expired with four other employee organizations as well. Spiller said negotiations started in May.

The closed-session agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting listed labor negotiations with the Barstow Police Officer’s Association, San Bernardino Public Employees Association, the Barstow Management Employees’ Association and the Barstow Police Department Management Association.

“They are not negotiating in good faith,” Spiller said. He said he is troubled that City Manager Curt Mitchell is not involved in the talks directly and has assigned a lawyer to negotiate for the city.

Spiller said his association eventually agreed to an offer by the city back in August that included officers paying 8 percent into pensions.

“I just wanted a uniform increase of $100 or night differential and they still said no to their own agreement,” Spiller told the Desert Dispatch back in August. “I said, ‘We agree with you, give us something back.’ They did not want to do that. To me that’s bargaining in bad faith. And that’s why we are fighting this. We are going to fight this and that’s it.”

The city released a short statement Tuesday through its spokesman, Anthony Riley.

“We are not aware of any issues with the bargaining unit, and in fact are currently working on draft language for the memorandum of understanding with the association’s attorney,” the statement read.

When told of the city’s statement, Spiller said he hasn’t heard anything from his attorney regarding a new memorandum offer. He also said the association hasn’t heard anything from the city during the past two months.

“We are literally in the same place (since last time both sides met),” Spiller said. “We are on holding pattern, waiting to see what they will give us. It’s been two months of dead silence.”

Mike Lamb can be reached at 760-957-0613 or mlamb@desertdispatch.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @mlambdispatch

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