San Jose POA offer 10-percent pay cut to city

April 29, 2011 11:30:35 PM PDT
The city of San Jose is struggling to bridge a $118 million budget gap. The mayor is looking to the unions to make concessions; without them he says they risk losing even more jobs. The police union came to the table on Friday with an offer.

There are 1,230 officers that make up San Jose's police force and this week 106 got their pink slips. San Jose Police Detective Tam Truong is one of them.

"I have a bachelor's degree, criminal justice, and also a master's degree and with seven year's experience. It's a hard thing," said Truong.

The Police Officers Association is trying to stop the city from cutting even more. Another 165 officers with more seniority will be on the chopping block, unless major concessions are made. On Friday, the POA offered to take 10 percent pay cuts, accept lower pension packages, and stop paying officers for their un-used sick days.

"This isn't even that much of a reduction," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

Reed is demanding the city's 11 unions give up 10 percent in total compensation to save some jobs. So far, only five unions have agreed.

"If this proposal is sufficient to avoid additional layoffs, that's a good thing, but it won't solve the problem with the first 100 layoffs we're looking at," said Reed.

"We make concessions once again and they're telling us even if you concede to our demands, we're still going to lay folks off. Tough to get your arms around," said George Beattie from the POA.

None of it makes sense to detective Truong.

"What about us with the new proposal? We want the job too!" said Truong.

He's not the only one. Local business owners are worried.

"There's so many other places they could cut in the city, rather than public safety," said Jake McCluskey, Kelly's liquor store manager.

On Tuesday, the City Council will decide whether to continue working with the POA on this specific deal. If something is hashed out, union members will vote on it.


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