Antioch union questions deal between city and police

March 7, 2011 6:39:08 PM PST
Antioch city leaders are expected to approve an agreement with its police union that requires officers to defer salary increases and pay more for their benefits.

However, another city union that is already given up a lot says the police are getting a "sweetheart deal." Its leaders claim their members are not getting fair treatment compared with the city's police officers.

"We think it's very important for the city council to understand that if they're going to ask our members to make sacrifices, they have to ask all employees to make sacrifices of the same magnitude," said Rollie Katz with Public Employees Local 1.

Local 1 represents about 50 of Antioch's public works employees who have already taken a 10 percent wage cut. Now, the city wants them to pay up to 8 percent of their pension costs.

In December, the city council voted to lay off six police officers. To head off those cuts, the Antioch Police Officers Association has reached a tentative agreement to defer salary increases and pay 3 percent of pension costs. It is a deal that lasts only through the end of the year.

"There's certainly no sweetheart deal. We have an existing contract with the police department through 2013, so we can't do anything that they don't want to do and we reached agreement to do it temporarily, but we'll be in labor negotiations starting this summer again with the police officers," said City Manager Jim Jakel.

Jakel told ABC7 he will be asking the police union to extend their concessions beyond this year. Local 1's leaders say they will not agree to any more reductions in their pay and benefits unless the police do the same.

"We're prepared to make more sacrifices, but we need to see all employees asked to make sacrifices to the same degree," Katz said.

No one from the Police Officers Association could be reached for comment.


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