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Oakland police agree to pay 9% of pension costs

Revised contract good through 2015

Members of the union that represents Oakland's 636 police officers have voted by an "overwhelming" margin to approve concessions that include paying 9 percent of their pension costs, the union's leadership has announced.

Oakland Police Officer's Association President Dom Arotzarena said about three-fourths of the union's membership voted on the concessions and a strong majority of those who voted approved the concessions, although he did not release exact figures.

Arotzarena said the union's current contract does not expire until 2013, but he said it agreed to reopen it and work on a revised contract that will last until June 30, 2015, "because we realized that the city is facing a huge financial crisis."

He said Oakland police officers "are digging deep in their pockets in this time of need" and the concessions mean they will be taking home $9,000 to $15,000 less a year.

The concessions will save Oakland about $65 million over the next four years, Arotzarena said.

In addition to contributing 9 percent of their pension costs, the officers agreed to delay previously negotiated cost-of-living increases until 2014 and give up two holidays per year through 2015.

The agreement also calls for entry-level pay for new hires to be reduced by 10 percent and for the retirement age for new officers to be raised to 55 instead of the current retirement age of 50.

In return for the police union's concessions, the city, which laid off 80 officers last year, agreed not to lay off any more officers or have

any officer furloughs for the next four years.

Arotzarena said, "Our concern was that our officers gave up so much that we wanted job security for them so they can come to work and have a job."

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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm

PPD needs to take a good look at this. The city council and manager should also pay attention.
Guaranteed raises, no pension contribution, 3% at 50, free medical for life . . . . it all stops with this next contract.

Like this comment
Posted by Mitzi
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 10, 2011 at 6:47 am

Taking annual ten grand out of the pockets 636 police officer consumers should work wonders for small businesses in and around Oakland. Jobettes, jobettes and more jobettes. Good job Oakland!

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Let's hope the Council and city management has the backbone to stand up to union tactics with this next negotiation and do what is right for the citizens of Pleasanton. Otherwise personnel costs will continue to swamp Pleasanton's budget and investments in facilities that citizens care most about (e.g. Bernal sports fields) will continue to be put off as they have for so many years already.

Like this comment
Posted by James Crockett
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Dear "Concerned"- Please describe the "Union tactics" that you charge the Pleasanton Police Officers of using? Last I checked, their response times are lower than ever, the customer satisfaction rating is higher than ever and their Union has never said ANYTHING negative or threatened anything. Stop with your rhetoric. You have a Damn fine police department in this city, you need to learn what you are talking about otherwise you appear ignorant.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Malloy
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm

"We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf."

Our Police Department earns every penny of their pay.

Like this comment
Posted by to: peter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

"Our Police Department earns every penny of their pay."

- what about the portion of pay that has been defered for the next 15-30 years. The question is, can we afford everything that has been promised? I don't think we can. And I don't think any city can afford to pay what has been been promised. It begs the question, how much have we been overpaying because past/present city councils don't know when to say to no?

Like this comment
Posted by Enough - justify the numbers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Why is the city paying 44% of wages toward pensions? Isn't the already exorbinant cost of 29% for the employer/taxpayer cost enough. The taxpayers pick-up an additional 9% of salary on top of that for a total of 38%. When I looked at the salary database for Pleasanton, and did the math, it appears the pension contribution is an additional 44% of salary. In other words, for every 100K of salary the city pays 44K toward their pension. What kind of retirement matching program is that?

There is clearly something wrong with the numbers. According to city and CalPers data the taxpayers should ONLY be paying 29%. Pleasanton residents also pay the 9% of pension contributions the employees are suppose to pay, for a total of 38%. Why are the actual numbers so much higher?

The 44 cents on the dollar are significantly higher than the 16 cents on the dollar the 3@50 plan actually costs. Why are Pleasanton residents paying so much? I want someone from the city council to explain to me why we are paying an additional 28% (an additional 28K per 100K of payroll) for these employees.

I would also like to know why the cost per employee, for the same pension plan, has doubled while the funded status has deteriorated to 60%. Isn't that an indication of a huge problem?

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Posted by Texan Proud
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:24 am

Any public sector salery that has pensions tied in with it should be abolished. What's wrong with you people? Where in the Constitution does it say anything about taxpayer welfare for public sector entitlement-serving thugs who only vote the Democrat party?

Like this comment
Posted by Explainer
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 12, 2011 at 8:18 am

The reason why prohibition of public sector employees getting fat pensions is missing from the Constitution is because some of the Founding Fathers were greedy union thugs who smuggled in their views without giving anybody a chance to read them. Either that or the corrupt unions were threatening to withhold their campaign contributions, aleady turning America's politicians into union puppets.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.