Ventura approves contract with police, service unions

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The city of Ventura has reached new labor agreements with its police and service unions.

In the contract reached with police, officers, sergeants and corporals received a 2.25 percent increase in May and will receive another increase of 2.25 percent in January. They received a $1,500 one-time payment.

Police management received increases of 1 percent in May, and another increase of 2.25 percent in January. A year later, in January 2018, they’ll receive another 1.25 percent increase. They also received a $1,500 one-time payment.

Non-public safety employees — members of the Service Employees International Union — received increases of 2.75 percent in May and will get another 2.5 percent increase in January. They received a one-time payment of $800.

All three contracts, approved by the City Council in May, run through June 30, 2018.

The contracts cost the city $787,370 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and will cost another $1.6 million in 2016-17 and another $1.1 million in 2017-18, according to Assistant City Manager Dan Paranick.

“The fiscal impacts represent the City settling negotiations with six of its eight bargaining units (all of our employees except for two groups in the Fire Department whose contracts expired later than the other bargaining groups),” Paranick wrote in an email.

The last contract for police (non-management), which ran from Jan. 1, 2014, through December 2015, gave raises of 5.5 percent, 1.5 percent and 1 percent over the life of the contract. It gave a lump-sum payment of $500.

So for a police officer making $100,000, the raises from June 2014 to January 2017 and the payments increased a salary by $15,000.

The average pay in 2015 for those covered under the police contract, which includes officers, sergeants and corporals, was roughly $103,00 and retirement and health and retirements benefits averaged $47,000, according to the state controller’s office. That includes those who worked part-time or did not work a full year.

The average pay in 2015 for management, assistant police chiefs and commanders, was around $144,000 and health and retirements were $62,000, according to the office.

The contracts include member increases for health insurance. For non-management police, the cost for individual insurance is $112.50 per pay period through 2018. It’s $289 for a family in 2016, and rises to $433.50 and $520 in the following years.

For assistant chiefs and commanders, it’s $104 for individuals per pay period for the life of the contract and climbs to $511.50 for a family.

Costs also climb for members of the service unions. Depending on the unit, it goes from $285.50 to $345.50 over the life of a contract (it started at $116) to starting at $97 and climbing to $332.50.

Retirement contributions have also gone up in recent years. Employees now pay between 6.25 percent and 12.25 percent of their pension costs depending on their position, the staff report notes, whereas several years ago they paid nothing.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local/ventura/ventura-approves-contract-with-police-service-unions-366dca8d-d4d2-11ce-e053-0100007fed10-385482841.html